2012/13 Series unveiled, following success of inaugural season
Following the success of the first Aberdeen Concert Series, launched by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) and Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO) in 2011, the two orchestras announced the details of the 2012/13 Series today (21 March).
The Series offers concert attenders at the Music Hall a broad variety of orchestral performances with world-class soloists and conductors in a single season package. Those who take out a subscription for the series gain through ease of booking and substantial subscription discounts, and receive all the latest news and exclusive offers in a special bi-annual newsletter produced by the two orchestras. Such benefits proved popular with concert goers in the North East in the inaugural Series with subscriber numbers increasing by 10%.
The 2012/13 Series offers an extensive range of repertoire, and visits by the new RSNO Music Director Peter Oundjian and SCO Principal Conductor Robin Ticciati who are joined by some of the world's finest musicians: pianists Piotr Anderszewski, Richard Egarr and Artur Pizarro; violinists Vadim Gluzman and Alexander Janiczek; cellist Ralph Kirshbaum; guitarist Miloš Karadaglić; the great lieder baritone Matthias Goerne and guest conductors Joseph Swensen, John Storgårds, Gilbert Varga and Philippe Bach.
The Aberdeen Concert Series opens with the RSNO's new Music Director Peter Oundjian recognising the Orchestra’s heritage as an internationally-respected performer and recorder of the symphonic works of Dmitri Shostakovich, with a performance of his Eleventh Symphony. Vadim Gluzman, who performed with the RSNO and Peter in March 2010, returns to perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto on the violin the composer intended the première of the concerto to be performed on, the ex-Leopold Auer Stradivari. Glinka’s Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla opens the programme.
Saturday 27 October marks the SCO's first performance of the Concert Series. Popular Conductor Emeritus Joseph Swensen directs Walton's Two Pieces from Henry V and Schumann's final symphony, Symphony No 3 'Rhenish'. American cellist Ralph Kirshbaum performs Barber's concerto, a work he recorded with the SCO in the 1980s.
The SCO is joined by three great keyboard players in its concerts in December, January and February. Artur Pizarro plays Beethoven's Second Concerto in a programme which also includes Mendelssohn's 'Reformation' Symphony and the UK premiere of renowned Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara's Into the Heart of Light, conducted by his fellow countryman John Storgårds. In 1999, the SCO gave the premiere of Rautavaara's Autumn Gardens at the BBC Proms and performed the work again in concerts in Scotland during the 1999/2000 Season.
SCO Associate Artist Richard Egarr is soloist in January for a rare performance of Dussek’s Piano Concerto in G minor Op 49. Jan Ladislav Dussek was a colourful contemporary of Haydn whose admirers included Catherine the Great of Russia and Napoleon Bonaparte. Egarr also conducts works by Beethoven and Schubert. In February, another pianist / director, regular SCO collaborator Piotr Anderszewski, performs two Mozart concertos – No 23 in A K488 and No 25 in C K503. In the same programme, SCO Associate Artist Alexander Janiczek directs works by Schubert and Beethoven from the violin.
Principal Conductor Robin Ticciati conducts the SCO's last concert in the Series in March, in a programme which celebrates the magnificent, musical city of Vienna. He pairs Schubert's Symphony No 5 with the Adagietto from Mahler’s Symphony No 5, and is joined by the great German lieder baritone Matthias Goerne in Schubert songs orchestrated by Webern, Brahms and Reger.
The RSNO's annual Christmas Concert has become part of the festive tradition and this year the family-friendly concert, led by conductor Christopher Bell, is packed with favourite melodies and sing-along carols. The first half of the concert features a special screening of Raymond Briggs' The Snowman with the Orchestra accompanying the animation with Howard Blake’s iconic score.
Montenegrin guitarist Miloš Karadaglic has risen to superstardom in recent years and was the best-selling classical artist of 2011. In April he joins the RSNO for the first time for a performance of Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez. Gilbert Varga returns to conduct a Mediterranean-rich programme; Martucci's Notturno Op 70 No 1 and also Respighi which opens and closes the programme – Ancient Airs and Dances Suite No1 and Roman Festivals.
The RSNO's Naked Classics concert presentation enters its second year in Aberdeen and elsewhere has developed a loyal following whilst appealing to those new to live orchestral music, through its informal, lively and impassioned presentation. It brings the Aberdeen Concert Series to a close in May when Paul Rissmann presents an animated exploration of the music of Wagner's epic Ring Cycle.
Complementing the SCO's performances in the Aberdeen Concert Series, the Orchestra also visits Aberdeenshire during its Scottish summer touring schedule and offers a weekend of music-making for amateur musicians in the North East. SCO Wind and Brass gives a concert of music by Prokofiev, Mozart, Seiber and Borodin at Woodend Barn in Banchory on Thursday 21 June 2012. SCO Connect, the Orchestra's education and outreach department, returns to Aberdeen with its popular Scrapers and Tooters: an opportunity for amateur musicians to come together in a relaxed and informal environment for a weekend of coaching and performance with musicians from the SCO and conductor Ben Gernon. Scrapers and Tooters takes place at Queen's Cross Church on the 27/28 October 2012.
SCO Chief Executive Roy McEwan:
As we move into the later stages of the present season, which has marked the first joint series in Aberdeen by the SCO and RSNO, it is clear that it has been a great success. What we are announcing now - a tremendous range of repertoire and international conductors and soloists - will take this collaboration further, ensuring that both orchestras continue to serve the people of the North East of Scotland with a fine season of great music.
RSNO Chief Executive Michael Elliott:
We welcome the SCO's commitment to partner the RSNO in the promotion of this series and the provision of classical music in Aberdeen. Together we have provided what we hope will be an intriguing, diverse selection with much-improved access for young people and very significant subscriber incentives. We look forward to welcoming many more music-lovers to the Music Hall.