–An additional spring series of 6 weekly livestreamed concerts starts 14 April from the Orchestra’s base at Lighthouse, Poole, thanks to continued support from Series Sponsor, Investec.
–Almost 32,000 digital tickets sold since autumn, with performances reaching greater than concert hall capacity.
—30% of the Orchestra’s digital tickets sold to new customers during the last 6 months, with 35% of the total audience listening beyond the BSO’s home territory.
–Chief Conductor Kirill Karabits closes the new series with Sibelius’s life-affirming Fifth Symphony.
—Mark Wigglesworth returns with two performances, clarinettist Andreas Ottensamer makes his UK conducting debut, and Alexander Soddy makes his UK symphonic debut.
–Artist-in-Residence Benjamin Grosvenor gives recital with duo partner Hyeyoon Park.
One of the first UK orchestras to livestream full symphonic performances, the BSO has continued to broadcast each week selling almost 32,000 digital tickets since its inaugural series in autumn 2020. Taking into account those who have watched in groups, the Orchestra reached greater than a sell-out capacity for its livestreamed performances.
New customers have accounted for almost 30% of all digital tickets sold in the past six months, with audiences regularly viewing the livestreams throughout the globe: 35% of the BSO audience is listening beyond the Orchestra’s traditional territory in the South West of England.
Audiences will be able to experience the new series of live performances by digital subscription, which is available for individual concerts or as a season bundle.
Chief Conductor Kirill Karabits will close the series with an uplifting programme featuring Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream suite, Scriabin’s reflective Reverie, and Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony. The Ukrainian conductor was with the Orchestra when the UK went into its first lockdown in 2020.
Karabits says, “As we reflect a year on from the announcement of the UK’s first lockdown, when it became apparent the arts would suffer greatly, I feel deep pride for what the BSO has achieved in remaining connected with its loyal audiences and supporters in the South West — and now reaching even further afield. I can’t wait to be reunited with my colleagues so that we can continue to do what we do: make live symphonic music for our ever-growing musical community.”
Conductor Mark Wigglesworth [Wed 14 Apr; Wed 12 May] returns to the Orchestra twice in the series: opening with Walton’s Henry V suite (arr. Mathieson) and Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No.5, before conducting Beethoven’s Symphony No.6 and Wagner’s Die Meistersinger suite in May.
Berlin-based clarinettist Andreas Ottensamer [Wed 21 Apr] makes his UK conducting debut in a programme of Mozart and Mendelssohn. British conductor Alexander Soddy [Wed 28 Apr] — who has been General Music Director of Mannheim National Theater since 2016 — makes his UK symphonic debut with Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht and Brahms’ Symphony No.1.
Artist-in-Residence Benjamin Grosvenor [Wed 5 May] returns to perform a recital with duo partner, violinist Hyeyoon Park; together they perform Cesar Franck’s mighty duet, the Sonata in A major, and Clara Schumann’s Romances. Grosvenor opens the programme with Robert Schumann’s Kreisleriana, and appears courtesy of Decca Classics.
The Orchestra also welcomes a number of the UK’s leading classical music presenters to the team, with Catherine Bott, Martin Handley and Sarah Walker returning to share the BSO’s music-making with audiences.
BSO Chief Executive, Dougie Scarfe, says, “As a touring ensemble we can’t wait to get back on the road, but, for now livestreaming continues to be a vital lifeline in reaching our valued audiences throughout the South West — and we’re humbled by the response we’ve received.
“It’s important to us that we present live symphonic music — to support our musicians and freelance community, as well as our audience — and I’m thrilled that we’re also able to welcome back Benjamin Grosvenor in recital with Hyeyoon Park. It may be a year since everything changed, but as we get used to the ‘new normal’ of music-making we can’t wait to share the next instalment of our livestreamed performances.”
The BSO recently announced further initiatives for all ages, as part of its streamed activity: Explore the Orchestra [from Saturday 24 April] is a 5-part interactive series introducing sections of the orchestra and culminating in a specially-composed work by James Redwood. The series is free to view on the BSO website.
The Orchestra also announced an initiative for GCSE Music pupils, with almost 3,500 pupils throughout the South West accessing new performances of set works through an online portal to help their exam studies this summer.
Investec’s series sponsorship of the Orchestra’s first six months of livestreamed activity has enabled the BSO to be at the forefront of the sector. Investec is a proud partner of the Orchestra and is excited to return as Series Sponsor.
All performances are livestreamed through the BSO website (bsolive.com) and are available for 30 days. For full details and tickets visit bsolive.com.