Scottish Chamber Orchestra announces 2009/10 Season

Highlights include:

  • New Principal Conductor, Robin Ticciati, makes Season debut with great Czech mezzo Magdalena Kožená
  • Max at 75: celebrating the 75th birthday of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, SCO Composer Laureate
  • Featured artist: Scottish mezzo soprano Karen Cargill takes on two great Berlioz roles, as well as performing Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, and joining SCO Principals for a chamber concert
  • Homecoming: a new work by Edward Harper, a tribute to James MacMillan on his 50th birthday and to the music of Kenneth Leighton in the 80th anniversary of his birth
  • Sir Charles Mackerras and Radovan Vlatković perform Strauss’ Horn Concerto
  • Christian Zacharias plays and conducts in Schubert marathon
  • Schumann 200: celebrating the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth
  • CL@SIX: successful series of hour-long early evening concerts in Edinburgh city centre continues
  • Masterworks: get under the skin of James MacMillan’s Tryst in a public performance of SCO Education’s pioneering project
  • World premieres of works by Edward Harper and Erkki-Sven Tüür
  • Recording of Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos with Sir Charles Mackerras for Chandos
  • Great pianist Maria João Pires closes Season with Beethoven Piano Concerto No 4
  • SCO Season debuts by violinist Sergey Khachatryan; mezzo Magdalena Kožená; conductor Joan Enric Lluna; pianist Tom Poster; sopranos Hannah Holgersson, Malin Christensson and Helena Rasker; and tenor Yann Beuron
  • The Scottish Chamber Orchestra today announced details of its 2009/10 Season of concerts throughout Scotland between October 2009 and May 2010, including performances in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, St Andrews, Inverness, Perth, Dumfries and Ayr.

    Robin Ticciati – Principal Conductor
    Young Londoner, Robin Ticciati, takes up his post as Principal Conductor this Season, conducting five concert weeks between December 2009 and April 2010. For his first performances in December, he is joined by mezzo soprano Magdalena Kožená for Mahler’s Songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn, as well as conducting Henze’s Chamber Symphony and Brahms’ Symphony No 2. In the second of his two December appearances, he conducts a programme of Fauré, Berlioz and Haydn, including Berlioz’s Le Mort de Cléopâtre, with Karen Cargill as soloist. Cargill and Ticciati are reunited in February for Berlioz’s L’Enfance du Christ, which also features tenor Yann Beuron and bass Matthew Rose.

    Robin takes a journey through Eastern Europe in February, with Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto and ‘Prague’ Symphony programmed alongside music by Bartók and Ligeti, and is joined by pianist Tom Poster for Ligeti’s Piano Concerto in April as well as his first Beethoven with the SCO – the ‘Pastoral’ Symphony.

    Still in his mid-twenties, Robin Ticciati has already made appearances at La Scala, Milan; Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and with the Rotterdam Philharmonic amongst many others. Audiences will have the opportunity to get to know him better at pre-concert talks in Glasgow (11 December), St Andrews (16 December), Edinburgh (17 December) and Aberdeen (19 December).

    Opening Concert
    Louis Langrée, who conducted the Orchestra to full-capacity concert halls in March 2009, opens the 2009/10 Season in Edinburgh (Usher Hall, 8 October) and Glasgow (City Halls, 9 October) with a programme of unfinished masterpieces: Schubert’s Symphony No 8 ‘Unfinished’ and Mozart’s Mass in C.

    Max at 75
    The SCO’s Composer Laureate, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, celebrates his 75th birthday this year, and the SCO marks the occasion on 30 and 31 October (Glasgow City Halls and Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall respectively) by performing his Fourth Symphony with conductor Oliver Knussen, who was in the audience at the work’s premiere at the BBC Proms 20 years ago. Max will be talking about his life and work at pre-concert talks in Glasgow and Edinburgh (free to ticket holders). The Glasgow concert is part of the Peter Maxwell Davies 75 festival which takes place in various venues throughout the city during 2009.

    Karen Cargill
    Scottish mezzo soprano Karen Cargill is the Orchestra’s ‘featured artist’ this Season, performing in Berlioz’s Le Mort de Cléopâtre with Robin Ticciati in December and taking the role of Mary in Berlioz’s L’Enfance du Christ in February in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. She also performs Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder with SCO Principal Guest Conductor Olari Elts in March.

    The SCO celebrates the Year of Homecoming with a new symphony (‘Homage to Robert Burns’) by Edinburgh-based composer Edward Harper. It’s one of three works by composers who have worked in Scotland as the Orchestra pays tribute to James MacMillan on his 50th birthday and to the music of Kenneth Leighton on the 80th anniversary of his birth. Concerts take place in Glasgow (27 November, City Halls) and Edinburgh (28 November, Queen’s Hall) with Scottish conductor Garry Walker.

    Schumann 200
    There’s more celebration in 2010 as the Orchestra marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Robert Schumann. His ‘Spring’ Symphony No 1 is performed alongside Wagner and Weber in March, and the SCO Chorus performs his Mass in C minor in May, under conductor John Storgårds.

    The Orchestra’s successful CL@SIX series continues into its third year with four early evening concerts in St Cuthbert’s Parish Church, off Lothian Road in Edinburgh. Each concert starts at 6pm and lasts no more than one hour. The series starts on 27 October with a programme of Purcell and Rameau under conductor Nicholas McGegan. Joan Enric Lluna directs Dvorak’s Wind Serenade in November; Alexander Janiczek directs Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik in January and Richard Egarr directs Bach and Handel from the organ and harpsichord in March, including Handel’s Organ Concerto in F ‘The Cuckoo and the Nightingale’.

    Viennese New Year
    Romanian conductor Nicolae Moldoveanu joins the Orchestra for a rousing start to 2010 in Edinburgh, Dumfries, Perth and Ayr on 1, 2, 5 and 6 January, with a selection of traditional waltzes from the Strauss family and excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. The concert at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh on New Year’s Day is, for the fifth consecutive year, in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care. Soprano Hannah Holgersson makes her debut in these concerts.

    Chamber Concert Series
    The SCO’s Chamber Concert series continues with two concerts in Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall on Sunday afternoons (21 February and 9 May). In February, Karen Cargill performs songs by Spohr and Brahms, as well as an aria from La Clemenza di Tito, with SCO Principals Maximiliano Martín (clarinet), Jane Atkins (viola) and pianist Simon Lepper. An SCO Ensemble gets together in May for Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht, Brahms’ Sextet in G and Wolf’s Italian Serenade.

    The Orchestra will be putting on a public performance of the successful SCO Education project, Masterworks, on Monday 28 September in Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall. With animateur Paul Rissmann at the helm, Masterworks gets under the skin of James MacMillan’s Tryst, taking it apart and putting it back together so that audiences can listen to it with greater understanding and insight. Tryst will be performed again as part of the Homecoming celebration in November.

    In the recording studio – Ariadne auf Naxos
    The Orchestra will be spending two weeks in January 2010 recording Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos with Conductor Laureate Sir Charles Mackerras and a stellar line-up of soloists, including Christine Brewer, Diana Montague, Gillian Keith, Lucy Crowe, Alice Coote, Robert Dean Smith, Christopher Maltman and Matthew Rose. Ariadne auf Naxos will be recorded alongside Strauss’ Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall.

    Grand Finale
    Internationally-renowned pianist, Maria João Pires, joins the SCO for the closing concerts of the Season in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. She performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 4 under conductor Trevor Pinnock who also conducts Mozart’s Symphony No 39 and Mendelssohn’s The Fair Melusine.

    Other Season Highlights
    Conductor Laureate Sir Charles Mackerras conducts Mozart and Strauss with Radovan Vlatković as soloist in Strauss’ Horn Concerto No 1 in January. Principal Guest Conductor, Olari Elts, conducts the world premiere of fellow-Estonian composer Erkki-Sven Tüür’s Symphony No 8 in May, programmed alongside Sibelius’ Third Symphony.

    Conductor Emeritus Joseph Swensen is joined by Henning Kraggerud in Sibelius’ Violin Concerto, and the Orchestra welcomes back guest conductors Thierry Fischer, Okko Kamu, André de Ridder, director/soloist Christian Zacharias, and soloists Lisa Milne, Steven Osborne, Paul Lewis, and Jane Irwin.

    Usher Hall
    Following its appearances at the Usher Hall during the Edinburgh International Festival in August, the Orchestra is looking forward to launching its new Season there in October, and to hosting Principal Conductor Robin Ticciati’s Season debut concerts in the Hall in December.

    SCO Concert Subscriptions
    The Orchestra offers Concert Subscriptions in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and St Andrews, allowing audiences to save money. For the 2009/10 Season, Edinburgh and Glasgow audiences start saving when booking just 4 or more concerts. Savings increase with the number of concerts booked, so that those booking as many as 23 concerts can save up to 40% (50% for senior citizens).


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