Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša makes his SCO debut with a programme of music by Dvořák, Mozart and Beethoven at Inverness (Eden Court Theatre, Wednesday 2 May), Edinburgh (Queen’s Hall, Thursday 3 May) and Glasgow (City Halls, Friday 4 May). He opens the programme with music from his homeland: Antonín Dvořák draws on his national folk heritage of dances and romances in his Czech Suite. It is followed by Mozart’s dramatic Piano Concerto in D minor K466 with soloist Jonathan Biss, a work which was often performed by Beethoven, whose own Symphony No 2 closes the concerts.
Hailed as one of ten young conductors "on the verge of greatness" (Gramophone, 2011), Jakub Hrůša was recently appointed Music Director of Royal Danish Opera from 2013/14, is Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Prague Philharmonia, Music Director of Glyndebourne on Tour, and Principal Guest Conductor of Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.
Popular SCO guest conductor John Storgårds brings the Season to an uplifting climax with an all-Beethoven programme. Beethoven’s music for The Ruins of Athens, written to accompany the play of the same name by August von Kotzebue, includes the popular Turkish March. It is paired here with his exhilarating final symphony – Symphony No 9 ‘Choral’ – in which Storgårds and the Orchestra are joined by the SCO Chorus and a superb line-up of soloists: soprano Elizabeth Watts, mezzo soprano Julia Riley, tenor Allan Clayton and bass Jan Martiník. The concert is performed in Edinburgh (Usher Hall, Thursday 10 May) and Glasgow (City Halls, Friday 11 May).
Speaking of the success of the 2011/12 Season, SCO Chief Executive Roy McEwan said;
“Two great programmes with two wonderfully gifted conductors make a fitting conclusion to what has been another very successful season for the SCO, both artistically and in audience terms. The huge range of repertoire, fine guest artists and consistent quality of performances have drawn audience and press acclaim and attendances have increased once again resulting in a cumulative growth of 26% over the last 5 years.”
Following the end of the Orchestra’s Winter Season, the SCO embarks on a busy summer of festival appearances – including concerts at the Aldeburgh, East Neuk, Lammermuir and Edinburgh International Festivals – and tours around Scotland, from the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway to the Highlands.