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Thomas Adès Three-piece Suite from Powder Her Face
Bruch Scottish Fantasy
Elgar Symphony No1

Thomas Søndergård Conductor
Kyoko Takezawa Violin

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Thomas Søndergård

Thomas Søndergård Conductor

Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård is Music Director of Royal Scottish National Orchestra, following six seasons as Principal Guest Conductor. He served as Principal Conductor of BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBCNOW) from September 2012 – August 2018, and prior to this, as Principal Conductor and Musical Advisor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra for three seasons.

He has conducted many leading orchestras, including Chicago Symphony, London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw, London Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony, Danish National Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Bamberger Symphoniker; leading tours with Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and European Union Youth Orchestra; Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic, Luxembourg Philharmonic, Brussels Philharmonic; Swedish Radio Symphony, Finnish Radio Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Houston Symphony and Seattle Symphony.

The 2019/20 season includes debuts with Cleveland Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover and Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He makes return visits to Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Bayerische Staatsoper orchestra, visits the Guildhall Orchestra for performances of Mahler Symphony No. 7 at the Barbican Centre and embarks on a Korean tour with the orchestra of the Royal Danish Opera. Highlights with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra this season include Berg’s Seven Early Songs with Karen Cargill, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde joined by Simon O'Neill and Jane Irwin, recording work, a European tour and performances of the Verdi Requiem.

Highlights of recent seasons include debuts with Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, and Orchestre National de France, and many re invitations, including Atlanta Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Danish National Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bayerische Staatsoper (Turandot), Deutsche Oper Berlin (Berlioz’s Romeo and Juliet), Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Gurzenich-Orchester Köln, SWR Baden-Baden, Sydney Symphony, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and Norwegian Opera. Recent highlights with RSNO include tours to China and the United States, premieres of new commissions and Marsalis’ Violin Concerto with Nicola Benedetti.

A passionate supporter of the music of Carl Nielsen, his most recent programme with Swedish Radio Symphony (Symphony No. 5) received wide praise as “equal of the great pioneers of Nielsen interpretation… It’s hard to imagine a finer performance of this remarkable symphony” (Dagens Nyheter). As part of the 2015 anniversary celebrations of both Sibelius and Nielsen he conducted a wide variety of their works with many leading orchestras. In 2019 he participated in a special concert to celebrate Nielsen’s work with the Royal Danish Academy of Music Copenhagen.

A highly accomplished opera conductor, he is equally at home in mainstream and contemporary repertoire. Previous opera includes Bayerische Staatsoper (Turandot), Norwegian Opera (Die Zauberflöte), Deutsche Oper Berlin (world premiere of Scartazzini’s Edward II); and Tosca, Turandot (Nina Stemme) and Les dialogues des Carmelites (Royal Swedish Opera). His Royal Danish Opera visit conducting Ruders' opera Kafka's Trial was described as a sensation: "He is one of the best things that has happened to the art of opera for many years" and subsequent productions there have included Il barbiere di Siviglia, Le Nozze di Figaro, La bohème, Cunning Little Vixen and Il viaggio a Reims.

Commercial recordings with BBCNOW include Sibelius Symphonies 1, 2, 6 & 7 and a disc of his tone poems and theatre music, featuring Finlandia and Valse Triste (Linn Records). His first release with Royal Scottish National Orchestra features music by R Strauss, the concert suite from Der Rosenkavalier and Ein Heldenleben (Linn Records). Pentatone also recently released the Lutoslawski and Dutilleux cello concertos with Johannes Moser and Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin. Earlier noteworthy recordings include Vilde Frang's celebrated debut recording for EMI, and Ruders’ Piano Concerto No. 2, (Bridge Records) which was nominated for a Gramophone Award. In 2011 he was awarded the prestigious Queen Ingrid Foundation Prize for services to Music in Denmark.

Kyoko  Takezawa

Kyoko Takezawa Violin

As the embodiment of musicality, violinist Kyoko Takezawa electrifies audiences with a richness of playing, a virtuosic confidence of feeling, and a fiery intensity that establishes her as one of today’s foremost violinists.

Her interpretive insight and indisputable talent have made her a sought-after soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras.

After winning the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, Kyoko Takezawa has worked with the most prestigious orchestras worldwide including the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony and the symphony orchestras of San Francisco, Cleveland, Baltimore, Saint Louis, Houston, Toronto, Dallas, Montreal, Detroit and Cincinnati, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, BBC, London Symphony, Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, Gewandhausorchester Lipsia, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Weimar Staatskapelle, Orchestre National de Radio France, NHK Symphony and New Japan Philharmonic.

She has collaborated with many distinguished conductors, including Seiji Ozawa, Sir Colin Davis, Michael Tilson Thomas, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Kurt Masur, David Zinman, Sir Neville Marriner, Leonard Slatkin, Charles Dutoit, Marek Janowski, Riccardo Chailly and Sir Andrew Davis. She has performed at major venues around the world including Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center in Washington, London’s BBC Proms, Vienna’s Musikverein and Suntory Hall.

A highly accomplished chamber music performer, Takezawa has participated at La Jolla Music Fest, Saratoga Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Taipei and Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival, Great Mountain Music Festival and the Spring Festival in Korea. She is a regular guest of the Martha Argerich Festival in Beppu, Japan. As co-director of the Suntory Festival Soloists of Suntory Hall in Tokyo, she has collaborated with the late Isaac Stern, Yo-Yo Ma, Pinchas Zukerman, Wolfgang Sawallisch and Joseph Suk.

Highlights of the 2018:19 season included concerts with New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Mito Chamber Orchestra, Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, Japan Century Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Music Concert with Martha Argerich, Mischa Maisky and Antonio Pappano at the Accademia Nazionale de Santa Cecilia, which was televised by RAI and ARTE.

Takezawa has recorded numerous CDs including all of Brahms’ Violin Sonatas with pianist Itamar Golan by Sony Music Japan. BMG’s RCA Victor Red Seal label released her recordings of Romanza, violin concerto Op 14, with Leonard Slatkin and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Elgar’s Violin Concerto with Sir Colin Davis and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bartok’s Violin Concerto No2 with Michael Tilson Thomas and the London Symphony, and all Mendelssohn’s Concertos No1 and 2 with Klau Peter Flor and the Bamberg Symphony.

Takezawa’s TV appearances include participation to the BBC Four TV programme, Concerto!, where she performed Bartok’s Second Concerto guided by Dudley Moor, the A&E morning show and a 2-hour documentary by TV Aichi in Japan.

As an educator, she is on the faculty of Toho Music School and Tokyo College of Music in Japan, and served as a jury member for the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, Menuhin and Wieniawski. She received the prestigious Idemitsu Award for outstanding musicianship and the Aichi Art Cultural Award.

Takezawa plays Antonio Stradivarius “Lady Tennant” violin (1699), on loan from the Stradivari Society in Chicago.