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Brahms Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68
Brahms Scherzo from Serenade No. 2 in A Major, Op. 16
Brahms Excerpt from Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 15 - I. Maestoso
Brahms Excerpt from Ein deutsches Requiem, Op. 45 - II. Chorus: Denn alles Fleisch es ist wie Gras. Langsam, Marschmäßig.
Brahms Excerpt from Sextet for strings No. 2 in G Major, Op. 36 - I. Allegro non troppo
Brahms Lullaby

Thomas Søndergård Conductor
Ursula Heidecker Allen Violin

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Thomas Søndergård

Thomas Søndergård Conductor

Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård is Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, after 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.

Thomas has conducted many leading orchestras, including London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Göteborgs Symfoniker, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Bamberger Symphoniker; leading tours with Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and European Union Youth Orchestra; Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Brussels Philharmonic; Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National d’Ile de France; Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony and Seattle Symphony Orchestra.

The 2018/19 season includes his debuts with Chicago Symphony Orchestra joined by Alexander Gavrylyuk, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de France and Tapiola Sinfonietta. He makes return visits to Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the orchestra of the Royal Danish Academy Copenhagen, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bayerische Staatsoper (Turandot) and Deutsche Oper Berlin (Berlioz’s Romeo and Juliet). Plans with RSNO include tours to China and the United States, premieres of new commissions and Marsalis’ Violin Concerto with Nicola Benedetti.

Recent highlights include debuts with Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Bern Symphony Orchestra, Gurzenich-Orchester Köln, SWR Baden-Baden, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg and return visits to Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and the revival of The Magic Flute with Norwegian Opera.

A passionate supporter of the music of Carl Nielsen, his most recent programme with Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra (Symphony No. 5) received wide praise as “equal of the great pioneers of Nielsen interpretation… It’s harder 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 works by these two composers with many leading orchestras. In 2019 he will participate in a special concert to celebrate Nielsen’s work with the Royal Danish Academy of Music Copenhagen.

Thomas is also an experienced opera conductor 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 for Kungliga Operan (Royal Swedish Opera). He was described as “a sensation” at his debut with the Royal Danish Opera conducting Ruders' opera Kafka's Trial: "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.

Releases with BBCNOW include Sibelius Symphonies 1, 2, 6 & 7 and most recently a disc which shines light on Sibelius’ tone poems and theatre music, featuring Finlandia and Valse Triste (Linn Records). Other noteworthy recordings include Vilde Frang's celebrated first recording for EMI, and Ruders’ Piano Concerto No. 2 on Bridge Records which was nominated for a Gramophone Award in 2011. In 2011 he was awarded the prestigious Queen Ingrid Foundation Prize for services to Music in Denmark. Due for release shortly are the Lutoslawski and Dutilleux cello concertos with Johannes Moser and Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin for Pentatone.

Ursula  Heidecker Allen

Ursula Heidecker Allen Violin

Ursula Heidecker Allen was born and raised in Augsburg, Germany, and studied violin in Trossingen, Karlsruhe and London. Ursula joined the RSNO in 1995, after playing with the Radio Orchestra Kaiserslautern, Opera Heidelberg, Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London. Upon joining the RSNO, Ursula got involved in the Orchestra’s education programme and gained a diploma from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in education and workshopping skills in 2003. Since then, she has represented the RSNO at two international conferences in Germany together with animateur Paul Rissmann, led an education project with the Berlin Philharmonic in 2004, an opera project for Jeunesses Musicales Deutschland in 2007, and workshops with orchestral musicians at the academies in Wolfenbüttel and Weikersheim. She also trained musicians from the Chemnitz, Giessen and Jena orchestras and continues to work with students from the universities in Linz (Austria) and Augsburg. In connection with the RSNO’s forthcoming European Tour in May 2018, she will, together with Bill Chandler, co-lead a workshop with the musicians of the Innsbruck Orchestra. Closer to home, Ursula takes part in RSNO education projects for different age groups and abilities, and regularly presents pre-concert talks and lunchtime concerts.