BBC SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Chief Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
Principal Guest Conductor: Jukka-Pekka Saraaste

BBC Maida Vale Studios, Delaware Road, London, W9 2LG.

Telephone: 020 7765 2956
Fax: 020 7286 3251

Web: www.bbc.co.uk/orchestras/so
Email: bbcso@bbc.co.uk

The BBC Symphony Orchestra was founded under Sir Adrian Boult in 1930 as London’s first permanent orchestra. The orchestra’s reputation as a pioneer of new music and large-scale Romantic and 20th-century works is long standing, and this commitment continues undiminished today. In its long history it has given the first performances of well over a thousand pieces, many of which were commissioned by the BBC and have now become twentieth-century classics.

As the flagship Orchestra of the BBC, it provides the backbone of the world-renowned BBC Proms, with fourteen appearances including the Last Night which is enjoyed by audiences all over the world. The orchestra’s busy schedule also includes a regular series of concerts in London’s Royal Festival Hall, Invitation Concerts and studio recordings at its home in the BBC Maida Vale Studios and regional UK concerts - all broadcast on BBC Radio 3 - alongside international tours and an increasing number of commercial recordings.

The BBC Symphony Orchestra’s chief conductors have included Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis, Gennady Rozhdestvensky and John Pritchard. Andrew Davis CBE was appointed Chief Conductor in 1989 - a position he holds until the year 2000, when he will become the orchestra’s first-ever Conductor Laureate. In 1995 the Czech conductor Jiri Belohlavek was appointed Principal Guest Conductor.

Past guest conductors have included Toscanini, Weingartner, Koussevitzky, Scherchen, Maazel and Haitink. The orchestra has also worked closely with many of the great composers of the twentieth-century including, Bartók, Berio, Henze, Lutoslawski, Part, Prokofiev, Schoenberg, Stockhausen, Strauss and Stravinsky.

Every January, the Orchestra celebrates the work of a 20th-century composer with a weekend festival - recent festivals have focused on Berg, Janacek, Tavener, Hindemith, Ives, Lutoslawski, Martinu and Messiaen.

The BBC Symphony Orchestra has a busy touring schedule recently visiting Japan, Korea, the USA and appearing at Festivals in Aldeburgh, Salzburg, Bad Kissingen and Lucerne.

The BBC SO’s reputation for promoting the work of contemporary composers whilst embracing established masterpieces is thriving. It plans for an increasingly adventurous future, continuing its position as one of the country’s leading orchestras and fulfilling a key role in British cultural life.


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