And so the mightily strange 20/21 season draws to a close, offering the chance to take stock and reflect upon the momentous events of the last 14 months and the monumental place of this remarkable orchestra in them.

What have we experienced?

  • Determination – to carry on, to keep the music playing against all odds.
  • Imagination – to see how this could be done and to overcome daunting obstacles.
  • Creativity – to make plans work and bring beautiful, living music for real, if usually invisible, audiences.
  • Leadership – for British cultural life and from the whole exceptional team on stage and beyond.
  • Friendship – a feeling we’ve really got to know these players, so closely observed each week as they have brought their performances to us.
  • Inspiration – for listeners and watchers both near and far; entertainment and emotional grounding.
  • Travel – a chance to go somewhere else every week, even when we couldn’t actually leave home.
  • Joy – at a time of darkness, loss and anxiety. Something to look forward to and to live off afterwards, in the mind’s ear.

Bringing the winter season to a close, and ushering in official summer, was a typically well put together programme made up of the sunny Overture and four-movement Midsummer Night’s Dream Suite by Mendelssohn, a truly dreamy Rêverie by Scriabin and the specially apposite Fifth Symphony by Sibelius.

It was wonderful, too, to see Kirill Karabits back on the platform after the frustrating year of travel restrictions he has endured. The choice of the Sibelius was a masterstroke. It seemed a conclusion, not just to this concert but to the whole 20/21 experience, culminating in a beautiful and hope filled vision of swans flying overhead as if toward the idyllic Isle of Purbeck.

As we now know, the BSO never seems to sleep. Let’s hope it does get some rest in the sun, but parts of its summer programme are already announced and lots more exciting live music is definitely on the agenda. See for news.

To view the concert (available for 30 days) click here

Check out the highlights video below!