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Cadogan Hall presents its tenth Zurich International Orchestra Series in 2016-17

Highlights include:

  • Edward Gardner conducts the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in works by Grieg, Elgar and Bartók
  • Valery Gergiev conducts the Mariinsky Orchestra for three concerts celebrating the 125th anniversary of Prokofiev’s birth
  • Trumpeter Alison Balsom performs Hummel’s Trumpet Concerto with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra
  • The Brussels Philharmonic and Chief Conductor Stéphane Denève present a programme exploring the works of French composer Guillaume Connesson
  • Freddy Kempf closes the season with Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 alongside the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Natalie Clein performs Dvořák’s Cello Concerto with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra
  • Classical guitarist Craig Ogden joins the Spanish Symphony Orchestra for a Spanish programme
  • The Vienna Tonkünstler present three concerts under new Chief Conductor Yutaka Sado with soloists Angela Hewitt, Alexander Sitkovetsky and Emma Johnson

Cadogan Hall presents the tenth Zurich International Orchestra Series with sixteen concerts performed by eleven international orchestras and an array of renowned conductors and critically-acclaimed soloists. Over the last decade the series has presented nearly one hundred concerts from over forty orchestras. This series welcomes back nine of those orchestras including the Mariinsky Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Tonkünstler, Dresden Philharmonic and Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra. The Spanish Symphony Orchestra and Norwegian Chamber Orchestra make series debuts.

The Mariinsky Orchestra open the series under Valery Gergiev with three concerts celebrating the 125th anniversary of Prokofiev’s birth on 26, 27 & 28 September. Across the three concerts the orchestra perform all of the composer’s seven symphonies which span his entire career. Hungarian violinist Kristóf Baráti joins the orchestra in the first two concerts for a performance of Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major and Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, which is reminiscent of traditional Russian folk music.

The Brussels Philharmonic gives two concerts this season with Chief Conductor Stéphane Denève who makes his Cadogan Hall debut. The first concert on 29 September explores the works of French composer Guillaume Connesson, who is recognised as one of the youngest and most gifted contemporary composers of today. The orchestra perform Connesson’s E Chiaro nella valle il fiume appare and Flammenschrift, inspired by Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. The programme also includes Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 (Pastoral) and Respighi’s Pines of Rome, famous for its accompaniment in Disney’s Fantasia 2000. The second concert on 9 April features another of Connesson’s works, Maslenitsa, Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances and Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante for which cellist Jérôme Pernoo joins the orchestra.

On 4 October the Spanish Symphony Orchestra makes its series debut with conductor Grzegorz Nowak, Principal Associate Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The Spanish programme includes Giménez’s La Boda de Luis Alonso, Falla’s El Amor Brucho and a movement of the ballet El amor brujo. Guitarist Craig Ogden joins the orchestra for a performance of Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez. The concert concludes with a performance of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 (Italian).

The Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra returns to the hall on 10 October with conductor Vladimir Fedoseyev for a performance of Borodin’s fluid and fiery Polovtsian Dances, taken from a scene in the opera Prince Igor and Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis. Rising star Pavel Kolesnikov joins the orchestra for a performance of Tchaikovsky’s deeply romantic and soulful Piano Concerto No. 1 and the concert concludes with the composer’s final symphony, Symphony No. 6 (Pathétique), which he reportedly considered to be his best and most sincere work.

On 9 November the Czech National Symphony Orchestra and Chief Conductor Libor Pešek perform music from the two most internationally renowned Czech composers: Smetana and Dvořák. Following Smetana’s nationalist example, Dvořák frequently employed aspects, specifically rhythms, of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia. The orchestra perform From Bohemia’s Forests & Meadows, one of six symphonic poems from Smetana’s cycle My Fatherland which describes the nation’s history, legends and the beauty of its nature. The programme is completed by two Dvořák pieces: Symphony No. 8 which was composed in 1889 in Bohemia, on the occasion of the composer’s election to the Bohemian Academy of Science, Literature and Arts andcellist Natalie Clein joins the orchestra for a performance of the Cello Concerto, one of the most popular concertos in the cello repertory.

The Zurich Chamber Orchestra is joined by two award-winning soloists on 28 November. Trumpeter Alison Balsom performs Hummel’s Trumpet Concerto and pianist Gabriela Montero performs Mozart’s Piano Concert No. 14. They both then join the orchestra for a performance of Shostakovich’s Concerto for Piano and Trumpet. The programme also includes Mozart’s Symphony No. 33.

On 20 January the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and its recently appointed Chief Conductor Edward Gardner perform Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra and Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite No. 1. Grieg had a close relationship with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and served as its Artistic Director between 1880 and 1882. Norwegian cellist Truls Mørk joins the orchestra for a performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto, his last notable work and a cornerstone of the cello repertoire.

The Vienna Tonkünstler returns to Cadogan Hall with its new Chief Conductor Yutaka Sado for three concerts this season. On 26 February the orchestra performs Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro Overture, Dvořák’s Symphony No. 2 and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 4 for which Angela Hewitt joins the orchestra as soloist. The second concert, on 28 February, features Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 and two works from Mendelssohn: Hebrides Overture and Violin Concerto, which is performed by Alexander Sitkovetsky. For the final concert on 2 March, clarinettist Emma Johnson joins the orchestra for a performance of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, one of the composer’s last completed works. The programme also features Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 (Unfinished) and Brahms’ Symphony No. 1.

The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra makes it series debut on 17 March, directed by pianist Leif Ove Andsnes. The programme includes Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony and Grieg’s Holberg Suite. Andsnes performs two Mozart piano concertos with the orchestra: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor and Piano Concerto No. 22 in E flat major.

The Dresden Philharmonic returns to Cadogan Hall on 31 March with conductor Michael Sanderling to perform Beethoven’s first and last completed symphonies. Beethoven composed his First Symphony at the dawn of a new century, 1799-1800, at the age of 29. His Ninth Symphony came twenty-four years later when he was almost completely deaf and it is almost universally considered one of Beethoven’s greatest works, and many consider it one of the greatest compositions in the western musical canon. For this performance the orchestra is joined by soprano Anita Watson, mezzo-soprano Samantha Price, tenor Alexander James Edwards, bass Thomas Faulkner and the Cardiff Ardwyn Singers & Cardiff Polyphonic Choir.

The Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra returns to the hall to close the season on 18 May. The orchestra is led by Chief Conductor Yuri Simonov with a performance by pianist Freddy Kempf. The programme includes Tchaikovsky’s Suite from Swan Lake, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 6 and Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2, an enduringly popular piece that established his fame as a concerto composer.

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