Søndergård Conducts Belshazzar's Feast

Fri 31 May 2019, 7.30PM
Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Sibelius Belshazzar's Feast Suite
Elgar Cello Concerto
Interval
Walton Belshazzar's Feast

Thomas Søndergård Conductor
Truls Mørk Cello
Anthony Clark Evans Baritone
RSNO Chorus  

In 1931 William Walton blew British choral music sky-high. Big, brassy and shamelessly savage, Belshazzar’s Feast shocked audiences back then, and it still knocks you backwards today. It’s an electrifying way to end Thomas Søndergård’s first Season as Music Director, but he’s got a couple more surprises up his sleeve: Sibelius’ atmospheric take on the same biblical tale, and Elgar’s Cello Concerto. You’ll have heard it before – but not the way Truls Mørk plays it!

This concert can be purchased as part of a subscription to the RSNO’s 2018:19 Season. Start saving when you book just four concerts! Click here to find out more.

6.45PM: Bill Chandler (RSNO Director of Artistic Planning and Engagement) in conversation with Thomas Søndergård (RSNO Music Director) in the Upper Circle Bar.

Tickets

£42, £32, £24, £19, £13

Discounts

Under 16s free (max 2 per paying adult); Under 26s / Mature Students £6 in advance, £8 after 5pm on the day; Unemployed £6; Disabled patrons and their carers 50% off; Group discounts available

Box Office

0131 228 1155

Featured Artists

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.

Truls  Mørk

Truls Mørk Cello

During the 2017/18 season, Truls Mørk returns to Orchestre National de France and to the Czech Philharmonic. The season also includes Grafenegg Festival and a tour of Switzerland, a performance at Carnegie Hall in New York together with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and he will appear in three performances in Salzburg as part of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra’s residency under Susanna Mälkki. He continues to give regular recitals at major venues and festivals throughout the world. He has recently developed a collaboration with Behzod Abduraimov which will see them perform on tour in the US and Europe.

A great champion of contemporary music, Truls Mørk has given in excess of 30 premieres. These include Rautavaara’s Towards the Horizon with the BBC Symphony Orchestra/John Storgårds, Pavel Haas’ Cello Concerto with Wiener Philharmoniker/Jonathan Nott, Krzysztof Penderecki's Concerto for Three Cellos with the NHK Symphony Orchestra/Charles Dutoit and Haflidi Hallgrimsson’s Cello Concerto, co-commissioned by the Oslo Philharmonic, Iceland Symphony and Scottish Chamber orchestras.

With an impressive recording output, Truls Mørk has recorded many of the great cello concertos many of which have won international awards including Gramophone, Grammy, Midem and ECHO Klassik awards.His most recent recordings include Shostakovich’s Concertos with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra/Vasily Petrenko, works for cello and orchestra by Massenet with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Neeme Järvi and the Saint-Saens Concertos together with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra/Neeme Järvi.

Anthony  Clark Evans

Anthony Clark Evans Baritone

2017 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World main prize finalist, baritone Anthony Clark Evans returns to Lyric Opera of Chicago in the 2017 – 2018 season as Riccardo in I Puritani, opposite Larry Brownlee. Mr. Evans also makes an appearance on the annual Richard Tucker Gala at Carnegie Hall, as well as a soloist in Angela Rice’s Easter Oratorio Thy Will be Done with the National Chorale at David Geffen Hall.

The 2016 – 2017 season saw Mr. Evans’ debut with the Metropolitan Opera as the Huntsman in the new Mary Zimmerman production of Rusalka, which was broadcast to theatres around the world as part of the Met’s Live in HD program. Mr. Evans also made his San Francisco Opera debut as Sharpless in the Jun Kaneko production of Madama Butterfly.

Operatic highlights include Mr. Evans’ debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago as Montano in Otello, San Diego Opera debut as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, and his debut with Opera Theatre of St Louis as Marcello in La Bohème. Additional roles at Lyric Opera of Chicago include the Jailer in Tosca (covering Sacristan), Yamadori (covering Sharpless) in Madama Butterfly, the Hunter (covering Gamekeeper) in Rusalka, creating the role of Simon Thibault in the world premiere of Bel Canto, and covers of Leporello in Don Giovanni, Count in Le nozze di Figaro, Count in Capriccio and Wolfram in Tannhäuser.

Concert work includes his Ravinia Festival debut singing in Bernstein’s Songfest with Ensemble dal Niente, Theatre Director in Les Mamelles de Tirésias with the Chicago Civic Orchestra, and an appearance on the “Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park” concert, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.

Honors and awards include a Grand Finals Winner of the 2012 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a 2017 Richard Tucker career grand, a 2014 Sarah Tucker Career Grant, and top prizes in the Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition, the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Competition, Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, Marcello Giordani Competition, Giulio Gari Competition, and the Mario Lanza Competition. Mr. Evans took second prize in both the Liderkranz Foundation Competition and the Opera Index Competition, as well as prizes from the Sullivan Foundation, the Luminarts Fellowship, and the American Opera Society.

A native of Owensboro, Kentucky, Mr. Evans studied voice at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky, and was a member of the Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Mr. Evans currently resides in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.

 RSNO Chorus

RSNO Chorus  

The RSNO Chorus performs in around six different programmes in up to twenty concerts across Scotland with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra each year. The RSNO Chorus has also had great success in recording with the Orchestra. Its recordings, amongst others, of Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky, conducted by Neeme J?rvi, and Holst’s The Planets, conducted by David Lloyd-Jones, have both been subject to high critical acclaim. In addition to its commitment to the Orchestra, the RSNO Chorus performs independently and has been invited to perform with orchestras in many different parts of the world, establishing an international status for the choir. The RSNO Chorus has toured in Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Israel, Germany, Belfast, Australia, Trondheim and most recently, Amsterdam. The RSNO Chorus evolved from a choir formed in 1843 to sing the first full performance of Handel’s Messiah in Scotland. Today, the RSNO Chorus is one of the most successful choruses in the UK. In recent years, the Chorus has performed practically every work in the standard choral repertoire along with contemporary works by renowned composers, including John Adams, Magnus Lindberg, Howard Shore and James MacMillan. The RSNO Chorus is directed by Gregory Batsleer, one of the UK’s most dynamic and in demand choral conductors and chorus masters. Gregory recently received The Arts Foundation Award 2015 for Choral Conducting.