BSO Concert Season 2015/16 Preview at Lighthouse, Poole

BSO-86(300dpi)BSO Concert Season 2015/16 Lighthouse, Poole a preview written by Paul Jordan

For classical music enthusiasts in Wessex, the autumnal feel in the air sharpens the feeling of anticipation for another season of Lighthouse concerts by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.  Even if they didn’t make it to the Albert Hall, most regular followers of the Orchestra will have seen the Promenade Concert they performed in August on television. Chief Conductor Kirill Karabits led the Orchestra through a blisteringly intense performance of Prokofiev’s 5th Symphony, and Nicola Benedetti performed the lyrical and romantic Korngold Violin Concerto. With a new contract lasting at least until 2018, Karabits is presiding over a golden age for the Orchestra.  They have outstanding long-serving principals in most sections. In performance, this stability leads to a rapport that guarantees a base level of excellence in the playing.  We can confidently set our expectations high.

BSO-141The programme is, as ever, stuffed with ‘must hear’ items and concerts. Karabits continues to expand his range and repertoire. The season starts with a performance of Richard Strauss’s steamy and intense one-act opera ‘Salome’ (30 September). Karabits has given us some memorable Strauss in the last few years: a ‘Don Juan’, a ‘Death and Transfiguration’ and last season an ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’ and a Four Last Songs live in the memory. This is definitely one not to miss.  Later in the season Karabits conducts a Sibelius concert featuring the composer’s last works from the 1920s (2 December), an intriguing pairing of Dutilleux’s Cello Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s underrated ‘Manfred’ Symphony (20 January), and a debut Mahler symphony, the first (4 May).

Following the success of pianist Sunwook Kim’s residency in the last season, this season’s chosen artist is the outstanding young violinist Augustin Hadelich. Now an American citizen and resident in New York, Hadelich was born to German parents and grew up in Italy.  He will play the Tchaikovsky (17 February) and Sibelius (27 April) concertos as well as teaming up with Sunwook Kim in a chamber concert on 16th March.

Of course it is impossible to mention everything in a season of more than twenty concerts,BSO-291-duo_Kirill but we are also looking forward to hearing the Chorus in Poulenc’s ‘Gloria’ (18 November) and Brahms’s German Requiem (9 March). There’s the usual wealth of Russian works, sixteen if I counted correctly compared to just five by Brits. No complaints about this: the Orchestra, under Karabits leadership, are acquiring a real reputation for excellence in this repertoire. A couple of nudges for next year: for an orchestra so often conducted by Americans, it’s odd that there’s no American music in the programme. And if Sibelius’s 150th birthday is worth celebrating, isn’t his contemporary and fellow-Scandinavian Carl Nielsen worth remembering too?

Details of all the concerts are at, as are booking details and the tempting subscription deals whereby the more concerts you attend, the cheaper they get.  Concert reviews will be posted regularly on the BSO website. Happy listening!

Paul Jordan reviews a number BSO Concerts for The Fine Times Recorder each season, his reviews are often published on the BSO website and on occasion in the Bournemouth Daily Echo. 

Would you like to preview your BSO Concert Season 2015/16 taking place in Portsmouth, Exeter, Bournemouth or Bristol? Please send your previews to Esme James, BSO Communications Manager via email

Sunwook’s Rach Three and BSO’s 2015/16 Concert Season


Sunwook’s Rach Three review, Poole, Lighthouse, Wednesday 29 April, 2015           by Tom Wickson, BSO Member

It is hard to pick out a single outstanding highlight from such an exciting programme as we have enjoyed this season, but what an incredible experience it was to hear the Rachmaninov Third Piano Concerto with Sunwook Kim and the Prokofiev Sixth Symphony played together in Poole, Bristol and Portsmouth in the last days of April and on the first of May 2015.

Sunwook Kim, BSO Artist -in-Residence 2015/16

Sunwook Kim’s amazing virtuosity was just so engaging in the Rachmaninov. He looked absolutely exhausted after the performance; as well he might, given the length and technical difficulty of the piece.

The audience was there with him the whole way, rolling and swirling like a ship at sea as we lived the mighty emotions and boiling passions of this dramatic masterpiece.

It is hard to imagine how Sunwook found the energy to take the baton and conduct the Pas de Deux from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker as an encore – but let’s hope it was just the beginning of many future conducting endeavours.

After the interval, the Prokofiev Sixth Symphony proved a shattering experience.               A mixture of lament for the dead of the Second World War and Prokofiev’s personal response to facing his own mortality, this is a serious and powerful work. The Orchestra was in absolutely top form. Kirill’s interpretation of the work meant we experienced an involving and moving performance, never likely to be forgotten.

Perhaps the most important feature of the evening, apart from the live relay on             BBC Radio 3, was the announcement by Dougie Scarfe at the interval in Poole that       Kirill Karabits has agreed to extend his Conductorship on a rolling basis, taking the Orchestra through to its 125th anniversary in 2018 and beyond! How amazingly lucky    we are!

BSO 2015/16 Concert Season, by Tom Wickson, BSO Member

Augustin Hadelich, BSO Artist-in-Residence 2015/16

With such a mouth-watering BSO 2015/16 concert programme, how can we decide what to come and hear? There have been some lively debates in our household and a few ‘prior engagements’ might have to give way.

Clearly after the Rach Three, Sunwook’s recital with the brilliant Augustin Hadelich, BSO Artist-in-Residene 2015/16 and the Orchestra strings is an essential. The season-opening Salome is a really exciting prospect, as are visits by soloists like Steven Isserlis and  John Lill.

How about those sublime Beethoven Piano Concertos which are scattered through the season, and the BSO Chorus in Poulenc’s Gloria and Brahms’ Requiem? There’s Mozart by Reinhard Gebel and Elgar by Vassily Sinaisky and almost too many things to take in by Maestro Karabits.

I hope the Chief Conductor and the Orchestra management understand what torments of decision we are going through before we probably buckle under and book the lot!