New Music Director kicks off 2012:13 Season

British-Canadian conductor Peter Oundjian leads a new artistic team, including recently appointed RSNO Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Søndergård

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) welcomes British-Canadian conductor Peter Oundjian who succeeds Stéphane Denève as RSNO Music Director and starts the Orchestra’s 2012:13 Season with two packed programmes in October.
New RSNO Music Director Peter Oundjian:

From the first time we worked together, in 2002, I have felt a powerful connection with this ensemble. My subsequent programmes with the Orchestra have further compounded my belief that we have a special relationship which I hope will produce exciting results on the stage. I have been overwhelmed by the warmth and generosity of the people of Scotland and it is a distinct privilege to lead their national orchestra during a period of significant change. In our first year we present a programme which exhibits the versatility and talents of these wonderful musicians. We also have some very important developments which I look forward to announcing in the coming weeks.

In his inaugural concert as Music Director, Peter Oundjian turns to Shostakovich’s searing Symphony No11, recognising both the RSNO’s great history of performing and recording the Russian composer’s symphonies, as well as illustrating his own passion for Shostakovich. A much-loved favourite of RSNO audiences, violinist Vadim Gluzman performs Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, the programme commencing with Glinka’s Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla. (Thursday 4 October, Music Hall, Aberdeen [sponsored by Capital Document Solutions; Friday 5 October, Usher Hall, Edinburgh [sponsored by Barclays]; Saturday 6 October, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.)
Peter’s second programme of the 2012:13 Season sees him return to the first work he performed with the RSNO, ten years ago, Britten’s Four Sea Interludes, paired with Brahms’ Symphony No1 and Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. (Thursday 11 October, Caird Hall, Dundee; Friday 12 October, Usher Hall, Edinburgh; Saturday 13 October, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.)
Also in October Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård, new Principal Conductor of the National Orchestra of Wales, is officially welcomed to the RSNO family as he takes up the specially-revived position of RSNO Principal Guest Conductor. His appointment follows the recent arrival of two new Leaders (James Clark and Maya Iwabuchi), a new Principal Cello (Aleksei Kiseliov) and Principal Second Violin (Xander Van Vliet). Thomas follows the great Sibelian, former RSNO Principal Guest Conductor Paavo Berglund, with whom Thomas studied. His first concerts present Sibelius’ Second Symphony, The Garden of Delights by contemporary Swedish composer B Tommy Andersson and a pair of Mahler’s works, early composition Blumine and his first song-cycle, Songs of a Wayfarer.
The RSNO has achieved considerable success in increasing its audience over the past seven years and even in the past 12 months has continued to grow its audience base for its Season performances. The number of top-level subscribers in Glasgow has doubled and in Edinburgh supporters who subscribe to all Season concerts have increased by 61%. Performances in the first half of the 2011:12 Season also experienced an average occupancy of over 80%. The coming orchestral year signals the future artistic direction of the Orchestra, playing to the strengths of the newly assembled artistic team, whilst continuing to nurture the growing appeal of Scotland’s national orchestra.
RSNO Chief Executive Michael Elliott:

The organisation is in a strong position to enter a new phase in its development and with the much-anticipated arrival of Peter and Thomas to our family – and the prospect of an appealing and stimulating season ahead of us –seeing new and familiar faces joining us at Scotland’s concert venues is something I very much look forward to.

The opening concert of the 2012:13 Season at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh on Friday 5 October will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.