Mark Simpson gives world premiere of his Clarinet Concerto with Ben Gernon & the BBC Philharmonic
Mark Simpson joins Ben Gernon and the BBC Philharmonic at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on 15 June 2019 to give the world premiere of his Clarinet Concerto. The premiere is part of Simpson’s tenure as the orchestra’s Composer in Association, a creative partnership that has run since 2015 and last season featured the critically acclaimed world premiere of his Cello Concerto:
“Immediately compelling and mysterious... Simpson has the precious knack of making relatively conventional gestures seem totally original and he uses a fundamentally tonal language in an utterly distinctive, never derivative way, so that nothing is ever quite what it seems.”
Guardian, April 2018
The concert also marks the BBC Philharmonic's season finale. Gernon, the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor, opens the concert with a selection of arias from Mozart Idomeneo with soprano Elizabeth Watts. Watts returns after the interval as Gernon brings the curtain down on the orchestra's season with Mahler’s soulful but uplifting Symphony No.4.
Elsewhere in June, Gernon gives his debut with the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra with a performance at their studio on 30 June. He is joined by pianist Luis Fernando Pérez for De Falla Nights in the Gardens of Spain, while the dance-themed programme further features Marquez Danzon No.2 and Ginastera Estancia, Op. 8.
Louis Schwizgebel joins Ben Gernon for debut with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse
Louis Schwizgebel makes his debut with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse this month, performing Beethoven Piano Concerto No.1 on 18 May 2019. The concert is conducted by Ben Gernon, who also leads the orchestra in the overture from Weber Der Freischütz and Brahms Symphony No.2.
Schwizgebel follows his debut in Toulouse with a recital at the Hay Festival on 28 May. The recital features a programme of Ravel Gaspard de la nuit, Debussy L'isle joyeuse and Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition and will be recorded by BBC Radio 3.
Gernon made his debut with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse in November 2017. Elsewhere this month he returns to the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra on 9 May for a programme of Butterworth The Banks of Green Willow, Vaughan Williams On Wenlock Edge and Stravinsky The Firebird. Before the concert, he discusses aspects of the programme with BBC SSO violinist Alex Gascoine.
Intermusica at the 125th BBC Proms
The BBC have announced the programme for the 125th BBC Proms, launching eight weeks of music-making of the highest quality, over 80 concerts and a host of world premieres. The festival also marks 150 years since the birth of Proms founder Sir Henry Wood and the 50th anniversary of the moon landings. As ever, Intermusica is well represented at the festival, with 24 artists taking part and our International Touring team bringing two world-class orchestras to the London stage. All concerts will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and several will be televised on BBC Four. See below for full details.
Mark Wigglesworth is joined by Nicola Benedetti and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain on 25 July. Wigglesworth conducts the London premiere of Lera Auerbach Icarus (2011) followed by Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto and Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet Suite. The concert will be televised on BBC Four on 28 July.
Simon Halsey and his numerous choirs feature throughout the Proms. On 29 July, the BBC Proms Youth Choir joins Omer Meir Wellber and the BBC Philharmonic for Haydn The Creation. Halsey then prepares the singers of the London Symphony Chorus and Orfeó Català as they join Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO to perform Walton Belshazzar’s Feast on 20 August. The concert will be shown on BBC Four on 23 August. Finally, more than 600 singers will unite for the European premiere of John Luther Adams In the Name of the Earth (2018) on 8 September.
On 2 August, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Thomas Dausgaard perform Sir James MacMillan The Confession of Isobel Gowdie, which premiered at the Proms nearly 30 years ago in 1990. The concert will be televised live on BBC Four. MacMillan is currently celebrating his 60th birthday with a year of special performances – visit jamesmacmillan.co.uk to see the full MacMillan at 60 calendar.
Ben Gernon and the BBC Philharmonic (where he is Principal Guest Conductor) give two performances. On 5 August, Gernon conducts a programme of Malcolm Arnold Peterloo Overture, Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with soloist Alexander Gavrylyuk and excerpts from Tchaikovsky Swan Lake. They repeat the concert the following morning in a Relaxed Prom, in which the concert environment is adapted to better suit audience members with autistic spectrum conditions, sensory, communication or learning difficulties.
On 10 August, Lise Davidsen reunites with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra, with whom she recently recorded her highly anticipated debut album for Decca (out 31 May). She will sing Richard Strauss Op.27 Songs, which also feature on the album.
On 13 August, Martyn Brabbins conducts a special concert with personal significance: it features the world premiere of Pictured Within: Birthday Variations for M. C. B., a new take on Elgar Enigma Variations commissioned by the BBC to mark Brabbins’ 60th birthday. This unique work features a new set of variations by 14 living composers including Intermusica’s Brett Dean, Sally Beamish, Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Dai Fujikura – plus one distinguished mystery composer to write the theme. Brabbins also conducts Elgar’s original Variations as well as Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music and Brahms Song of Destiny, featuring the BBC Singers and English National Opera Chorus. The concert will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Four on 8 September.
Andreas Haefliger returns to the Proms on 19 August for the world premiere of a new Piano Concerto written especially for him by fellow Swiss musician Dieter Ammann. He is joined for the concert by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sakari Oramo. This new work is co-commmissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Konzerthaus Wien, Lucerne Festival, Münchner Philharmoniker and Taipei Symphony Orchestra.
Singers Sofia Fomina, Marta Fontanals-Simmons and Thomas Atkins appear in Glyndebourne Festival Opera’s production of Mozart The Magic Flute on 27 August. Fomina stars in the concert staging as Pamina while Fontanals-Simmons sings Second Lady and Atkins takes the roles of Second Priest and First Man in Armour.
Richard Egarr returns to the Proms on 30 August to conduct the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (with whom he has a long association) Handel Jeptha, part of a cycle celebrating the composer’s works. The cast features Tim Mead as Hamor and Cody Quattlebaum as Zebul.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner completes his epic five-season Berlioz series on 2 September, conducting a performance of his opera Benvenuto Cellini with his Monteverdi Choir and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique.
On 10 September, Intermusica brings the Czech Philharmonic and Semyon Bychkov to the Proms. The concert features Smetana The Bartered Bride, the Letter Scene from Eugene Onegin and Shostakovich Symphony No.8.
Nicholas Collon and his Aurora Orchestra return to the Proms on 12 September presenting another eagerly anticipated major symphony from memory. This year they present Berlioz Symphonie fantastique in an immersive theatrical staging. Collon and the orchestra will give a repeat performance in a late-night Prom that same evening and BBC Four will record the first performance for broadcast on 13 September.
As the festival draws to a close, Intermusica’s International Touring team brings a second orchestra to London: on 13 September, Andrew Manze returns with his NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover for Beethoven Night, in which Manze conducts extracts from Fidelio and Symphony No.5, as well as music by Handel and Bach.
Ben Gernon conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Dubai
Ben Gernon leads the BBC Symphony Orchestra to Dubai this month for a concert at Dubai Opera on 19 March 2019. Gernon conducts the orchestra in a programme of Bushra El-Turk Tmesis, extracts from Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet and Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with soloist Karen Gomyo.
The following week, Gernon returns to the Czech Philharmonic for three concerts in Prague with cellist Truls Mørk on 27, 28 and 29 March. Mørk is the soloist in Esa-Pekka Salonen Cello Concerto, while Gernon also conducts works by Mozart and Prokofiev.
Ben Gernon conducts The Magic Flute in debut at English National Opera
Ben Gernon returns to London on 14 March 2019 to make his debut at English National Opera conducting Mozart The Magic Flute. Simon McBurney's critically acclaimed production returns to ENO starring Lucy Crowe, Rupert Charlesworth, Thomas Oliemans, Brindley Sherratt and Julia Bauer. Gernon conducts six performances of the opera, with the run coming to a close on 11 April.
Away from English National Opera, Gernon leads the BBC Symphony Orchestra to Dubai on 19 March for a concert of Bushra El-Turk Tmesis, extracts from Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet and Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with soloist Karen Gomyo. He also returns to the Czech Philharmonic for three concerts in Prague with cellist Truls Mørk on 27, 28 and 29 March.
Host of Intermusica artists to appear in Barbican 2019/20 classical season, including portraits for Yuja Wang and Antoine Tamestit
The Barbican has announced its 2019/20 classical season with a promise to deliver ‘a year of life-affirming musical experiences’.
Among the highlights is Yuja Wang, selected for the Barbican’s ‘Artist Spotlight’, who will perform solo and chamber repertoire across four concerts. On 18 November, Wang gives the London premiere of John Adams Piano Concerto, Must the Devil have All the Good Tunes (a work written especially for her) with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel. On 21 November, she appears alongside Andreas Ottensamer, Principal Clarinet with the Berlin Philharmonic. On 13 January, Wang performs with Gautier Capuçon in a concert featuring Chopin Introduction et polonaise brillante. The Spotlight series culminates in a solo recital on 31 March 2020: click here for complete details.
Antoine Tamestit has been selected for the London Symphony Orchestra’s Artist Portrait and will showcase his musical inspirations across three concerts. Sticking close to this season’s theme of ‘roots and origins’, he begins with a work written for him – Jörg Widmann’s Viola Concerto – on 19 April with Daniel Harding. On 11 June, Tamestit performs Berio Voci with François-Xavier Roth and three days later, the Walton Viola Concerto (which Tamestit refers to as his ‘special concerto’) with Alan Gilbert. The Portrait also includes four chamber concerts at LSO St Luke’s in May and June – click here for more details.
Richard Egarr and the Academy of Ancient Music begin their Beethoven 250 anniversary celebrations with the composer’s complete incidental music for Goethe’s Egmont on 2 October. They will be joined by violinist Viktoria Mullova on 20 November for Bach Violin Concerto No.1 alongside orchestral and vocal works by CPE Bach, JS Bach, Haydn and Grimani. Following Egarr’s critically acclaimed performances and recording of Castello’s First Book of Sonatas in 2016, he will conduct the Second Book in a concert on 22 April.
Following lauded Mendelssohn and Schumann cycles, Sir John Eliot Gardiner returns to the London Symphony Orchestra on 20 October, this time bringing together three works that define the ‘Czech sound’ – Janáček Ballad of Blaník and Glagolitic Mass along with Dvořák The Golden Spinning Wheel. Conductor and orchestra will then perform Suk Symphony No.2, 'Asrael', and Dvořák Cello Concerto with soloist Truls Mørk on 24 October. In the space of just one week in May, Gardiner and his Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique will perform all of Beethoven Symphonies: starting with No.1, scheduled alongside Creatures of Prometheus on 11 May, the cycle will conclude on 16 May.
Also appearing in the Barbican’s 2019/20 classical season are pianists Daniil Trifonov (30 Apr 2020) and Kirill Gerstein (6 June 2020); conductors Martyn Brabbins (1 Nov 2019) and Ben Gernon (2 May 2020); singers Marta Fontanals-Simmons (3 Oct 2019), Lise Davidsen (10 Feb 2020), Mary Bevan (19 Mar 2020) and Tim Mead (10 Apr 2020); as well as Colin Currie (23 Oct 2019), Ning Feng (13 Feb 2020) and Simon Halsey, in his role as Choral Director of the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.
Intermusica will tour the Oslo Philhamonic with Vasily Petrenko in October, marking their 100th anniversary season with concerts across major cities in Europe. They will appear at the Barbican on 22 October to perform Strauss Don Juan, Shostakovich Symphony No.10 and Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor with Leif Ove Andsnes.
Click here for complete season details.
Symphonic Cinema's Firebird & Daphnis et Chloé performed by Ben Gernon & the BBC Philharmonic
Ben Gernon conducts the BBC Philharmonic in Symphonic Cinema’s productions of Stravinsky The Firebird and Ravel Daphnis and Chloé Suites, with Symphonic Cinema director Lucas van Woerkum working alongside the orchestra to match his film to the performance live on-stage as Image Soloist. Ben conducted the UK premiere of Symphonic Cinema’s Firebird back in 2017 with the BBC Symphony and this will be the UK premiere of Daphnis and Chloé, following the world-premiere at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw in April 2018.
Gernon also conducts the BBC Philharmonic in a main season concert featuring Tchaikovsky Symphony No.4. In the first half he is reunited with Paul Lewis (with whom he appeared at the BBC Proms last year) for Mozart Piano Concerto No 25.
All performances take place at Bridgewater Hall. For details see here.
Ben Gernon conducts the BBC Philharmonic live on BBC Radio 3
Ben Gernon returns to the BBC Philharmonic this month for two concerts, both of which will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. The first concert, at Salford's MediaCity, takes place at 2pm GMT on 12 December, and the second from Hanley at 7.30pm GMT on 14 December. Repertoire includes Mozart Haffner Symphony, Beethoven Symphony No.4, Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No.1 with Leonard Elschenbroich and Tchaikovsky Swan Lake Suite.
Gernon also conducts the final two performances of Madama Butterfly at Royal Swedish Opera on 3 and 6 December, as well as the Brighton Philharmonic at Brighton Dome on 2 December.
Ben Gernon conducts Kristóf Baráti & the BBC Philharmonic in Bucharest
Ben Gernon is on tour with the BBC Philharmonic this month, performing at the Sala Radio in Bucharest on 23 November 2018. He is joined for the concert by Kristóf Baráti, who is the soloist in Bartók Violin Concerto No.2. Gernon then conducts Rachmaninov Symphony No.2.
He also makes his debut with the Royal Northern Sinfonia, performing at the Sage Gateshead on 9 November and Westmorland Hall in Kendal on 10 November. The programme includes Mozart Symphony No.35 “Haffner” and a chamber orchestra arrangement of Boccherini Quintet in C major and Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez, with Scottish guitarist Sean Shibe.
Baráti follows the concert in Bucharest with a trip to Oslo, where performs the Bartók concerto again with Andrew Manze and the Oslo Philharmonic on 29 November.
Ben Gernon returns to the BBC Philharmonic for concerts in Manchester & Nottingham
Ben Gernon conducts his first BBC Philharmonic concerts of the 2018/19 season this week, leading them in concert at Manchester's Bridgewater Hall and Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall on 12 and 13 October 2018. In Manchester he is joined by violinist Carolin Widman, who will be making her debut with the orchestra, for Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, preceded by Stravinsky’s lesser known Funeral Song and followed by Tchaikovsky Symphony No.5. This concert will be recorded for deferred broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
In Nottingham, Gernon’s soloist will be Jess Gillam, who will be playing music by Debussy and Glazunov, and the programme will open with the suite from Bartok’s “pantomime grotesque” ballet Miraculous Mandarin.
Gernon also conducts performances of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly with Royal Swedish Opera this month.
Ben Gernon conducts centenary performance of The Planets with Brian Cox & the BBC Symphony Orchestra
Ben Gernon returns to the BBC Symphony Orchestra on 29 September 2018 to conduct a concert marking the 100th anniversary of the premiere of Holst’s The Planets.
The Planets has become one of the 20th century’s most iconic works for orchestra. For this special concert at London's Barbican Centre, Gernon joins forces with Professor Brian Cox, who will be presenting the concert and casting a new light on this masterpiece.
The concert will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and broadcast on television at a later date.
Ben Gernon conducts Beethoven with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Ben Gernon returns to the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra for two concerts at Stockholm's Berwaldhallen on 12 and 13 September 2018.
Gernon begins the concert with the concert overture to Glinka's rarely performed opera Ruslan and Ludmilla, a skilful orchestration of Russian folk music traditions. Gernon and the orchestra are then joined by Henrik Blixt on bassoon for Mats Larsson Gothe Ricero 2, after which Gernon conducts the orchestra in Beethoven Symphony No.4.
Gernon follows the concerts in Stockholm with a return to Royal Swedish Opera, where he conducts their new production of Madama Butterfly from 22 September.
Ben Gernon leads concerts with Royal Swedish Opera & Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Ben Gernon joins the Royal Swedish Opera this month to launch the company's 2018/19 season.
Gernon will conduct excerpts from Bizet Carmen, Bernstein West Side Story and Mozart Don Giovanni, before joining the orchestra later in the autumn for a production of Puccini Madama Butterfly.
In September, Gernon returns to the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Berwaldhallen, Stockholm, for two concerts including Beethoven Symphony No.4 and Mats Larsson Gothe Bassoon Concerto, with soloist Henrik Blixt.
Intermusica at the 2018 BBC Proms
The BBC Proms returns this year on 13 July 2018, and as ever there is a strong Intermusica presence at the festival. This year sees returns for artists including Marin Alsop, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, John Wilson, Colin Currie and Antoine Tamestit, while Intermusica also brings the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and the Baltimore Symphony to the festival as part of the Proms' celebrations of the centenary of Leonard Bernstein's birth. All concerts are broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.
On 15 July at 7pm, Colin Currie and Martin James Bartlett join an array of previous winners and finalists for a concert celebrating the 40th anniversary of BBC Young Musician. Currie performs Steve Reich Drumming – Part I with Colin Currie Group members and fellow BBC Young Musician competitors Sam Walton, Aiden Spillet and Owen Gunnell, while Martin James Bartlett performs in Saint-Saëns Carnival of the Animals.
Susan Bickley renews her relationship with the London Sinfonietta and Sir George Benjamin at 3pm on 21 July in a Prom at the Roundhouse in Camden. Bickley performs in a programme featuring a quartet of war-themed premieres as well as works by Stravinsky, Messiaen and Ives.
Simon Halsey leads the BBC Proms Youth Choir once again this year in concert with Donald Runnicles and the World Orchestra for Peace at 7.30pm on 21 July. They perform Shadow, a new, First World War-themed commission from Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds. Also on the programme are Britten Sinfonia da Requiem and Beethoven Symphony No.9. Halsey returns in August for concerts with the London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle and in September with the City of Birmingham Symphony Choruses with Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
On 25 July, Ben Gernon returns to the Proms with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. Gernon, the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor, leads the BBC Philharmonic in the world premiere of Tansy Davies What did We See?, an orchestral suite from the composer’s recent opera Between Worlds. He also conducts Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5 ‘Emperor’ with soloist Paul Lewis and Brahms Symphony No.2. The concert starts at 7.30pm.
Martyn Brabbins conducts the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales in a programme celebrating English composer Hubert Parry at 7pm on 27 July. Brabbins conducts Parry’s Symphony No.5 and Hear my words, ye people! alongside works by his pupils Vaughan Williams and Holst. Tai Murray is the soloist in Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending, while soprano Francesca Chiejina and bass-baritone Ashley Riches also feature.
Andrew Manze returns this year alongside the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducting the orchestra in a London-focussed programme at 7pm on 31 July. The concert opens with Haydn Symphony No.104 ‘London’, and after the interval Manze conducts Vaughan Williams A London Symphony.
On 5 August, Brett Dean joins Thomas Dausgaard and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra for their Brandenburg Project. Over two concerts, the orchestra presents Bach’s six Brandenburg Concertos alongside six newly commissioned companion works. Dean performs as viola soloist in the second concert at 7.30pm, while his Approach – Prelude to a Canon is one of the companion works.
Nicholas Collon and his Aurora Orchestra make their annual appearance in a late-night Prom focussing on Shostakovich at 10.15pm on 6 August. Joined once again by BBC broadcaster Tom Service, Collon and the Orchestra unpack the composer’s Symphony No.9 before performing it from memory. The concert also features Shostakovich Piano Concerto No.2 with soloist Denis Kozhukhin.
Intermusica renews its relationship with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Sir Antonio Pappano at 7.30pm on 10 August, bringing them to the Proms as part of the festival's celebrations for the Bernstein centenary (Bernstein was the orchestra's honorary conductor for a decade). Pappano conducts the composer's Symphony No.1 'Jeremiah' alongside Haydn The Creation - Chaos and Mahler Symphony No.1.
Renaud Capuçon appears at the Proms at 7pm on 16 August alongside the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in its debut appearance at the festival. Capuçon is the soloist for Ravel Violin Sonata No.2, which has been orchestrated by Yan Maresz.
Marin Alsop conducts the Proms Scratch Orchestra in two free concerts at Maida Vale Studios on 26 August. The Scratch Orchestra, made up of amateur musicians and members of the BBC Concert Orchestra, performs movements from Shostakovich Symphony No.5.
Joshua Weilerstein returns to the Proms at 7.30pm on 26 August to conduct the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a tribute to Leonard Bernstein’s televised Young People’s Concerts. Utilizing words, projections and music, the concert features works including Stravinsky The Rite of Spring, Ligeti Apparations and Debussy La mer alongside works by Bernstein and Beethoven.
Wallis Giunta makes her Proms debut at 1pm on 27 August, leading a recital of works by Bernstein and his associates at Cadogan Hall. As well as works by Copland, Sondheim and Barber, the concert features the world premiere of a new song by British composer Bushra El-Turk, Crème Brûlée on a Tree, inspired by Bernstein’s recipe settings.
Marin Alsop returns to the Proms at 8pm on 27 August as Intermusica brings the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to the festival for a concert of Bernstein and Shostakovich with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique return to the Proms at 7.30pm on 5 September for a programme of Berlioz. They are joined by Antoine Tamestit, who performs Harold in Italy, while Joyce DiDonato sings arias from Le mort de Cléopatre and Les Troyens.
Russell Braun joins the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under Peter Oundjian at 7pm on 6 September as the baritone soloist in Britten War Requiem. Braun performs alongside Erin Wall and Allan Clayton.
Ben Gernon conducts Tansy Davies world premiere in return to the BBC Proms
Ben Gernon returns to the BBC Proms on 25 July 2018 to conduct the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in a programme spanning 200 years of history. Gernon opens the concert conducting the world premiere of Tansy Davies What Did We See?, an orchestral suite drawn from the composer's recent 9/11-inspired opera, Between Worlds. Gernon and the orchestra are then joined by pianist Paul Lewis, who performs Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5. Gernon rounds off the programme with Brahms Symphony No.2, which echoes Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony.
Gernon made his debut at the Proms in 2014, conducting the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in a celebration of the late Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' 80th birthday. The Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, next season Gernon conducts the orchestra in concerts around the UK and in Bucharest.
The concert will be recorded for broadcast on 4 August on BBC Four.
Ben Gernon conducts Tamsin Waley-Cohen in Richard Blackford's Niobe for Signum Classics
Ben Gernon conducts Tamsin Waley Cohen and the Czech Philharmonic in Signum Classics' premiere recording of Richard Blackford's new violin concerto, Niobe, released on 1 June 2018. The recording was made after Gernon conducted Waley Cohen and the Czech Philharmonic in the concerto's world premiere earlier in the season.
The concerto is an adaptation of the Greek fable of Niobe, who has seven daughters and seven sons, mocks Leto, goddess of motherhood yet mother of only two children – Apollo and Artemis. In revenge, Apollo murders Niobe’s sons, while Artemis kills her daughters, and her husband Amphion, king of Thebes, commits suicide. Niobe in grief turns to Zeus for help, who takes pity and turns Niobe to stone; she continues to weep, however, for eternity, her tears flowing as a stream from the rock.
Gernon features on another recording released this month, as he conducts the latest installment of Hyperion's Romantic Piano Concerto series. For this album, Gernon conducts Simon Callaghan and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in recordings of concerti by Joseph Rheinberger and Bernard Scholz. The album is released on 29 June.
Ben Gernon makes debut with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra with Boris Giltburg
Ben Gernon makes his debut with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra this month, conducting the orchestra in three concerts at Costa Mesa's Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts from 31 May 2018. Joining him for the concerts is Intermusica's Boris Giltburg, who is the soloist for Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2. Also on the all-Russian programme is Prokofiev Russian Overture and Stravinsky Petrushka.
Back in the UK, Gernon returns to the BBC Philharmonic for two concerts this month. On 12 May at Manchester's Bridgewater Hall, he leads the orchestra in a programme of Wagner Rienzi: Last of the Tribunes, Rihm Horn Concerto with soloist Stefan Dohr, Weber Invitation to the Dance and Beethoven Symphony No.7. They also perform the programme at Stoke's Victoria Hall on 11 May.
Ben Gernon makes debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic & Narek Hakhnazaryan
Ben Gernon makes his debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra this month, conducting the orchestra in concert at Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall on 5 April 2018. Gernon conducts the Overture to Wagner Rienzi, the Last of the Tribunes, Schumann Symphony No.2 and is joined by Narek Hakhnazaryan for Elgar Cello Concerto in E minor.
Gernon then ends the month in Germany, conducting the Munich Chamber Orchestra at the Prinzregententheater on 26 April. He conducts an eclectic programme that features Mendelssohn Symphony No.1 and the German premiere of Bryce Dessner Wires, which features the composer on the electric guitar.
Ben Gernon returns to the BBC Philharmonic with Richard Goode
Ben Gernon returns to Manchester's Bridgewater Hall with the BBC Philharmonic on 3 March 2018. Gernon, the orchestra's Principal Guest Conductor, conducts the UK premiere of Anne Clyne The Midnight Hour, followed by Mozart Piano Concerto No.20 and Mahler Symphony No.1. Gernon is joined for the concert by fellow Intermusica artist Richard Goode, performing with the orchestra for the first time. BBC Radio 3 will broadcast the performance of Mahler Symphony No.1 on 6 March at 7.30pm (UK time).
Elsewhere this month, Gernon makes his debut with the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra in four concerts from 21 March. Gernon conducts a programme of Nico Muhly Mixed Messages, Bruch Violin Concerto and Respighi Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome.
Ben Gernon makes debut with the Orchestra of Opera North
Ben Gernon makes his debut with the Orchestra of Opera North at Huddersfield Town Hall on 25 February 2018. Gernon conducts Dvorák Symphony No.8, Mozart Symphony No.31 (the “Paris” Symphony) and is also joined by BBC New Generation Artist Kathryn Rudge for Elgar’s Sea Pictures, Op. 37.
Gernon also returns to the BBC Philharmonic for a studio concert on 28 February at 2pm, which will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. The programme includes works by Beethoven, Mozart, Debussy, Anna Clyne and Bernard Rands’ Concerto for Cor Anglais, with Gillian Callow as soloist.
Intermusica at the Barbican Centre's 2018/19 classical season
The Barbican Centre revealed its classical music season for 2018/19 on 23 January 2018, and as ever there are many Intermusica artists performing over the season. Highlights include Daniil Trifonov's London Symphony Orchestra Artist Portrait, the visit of Sir Antonio Pappano and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia to perform Mahler Symphony No.6 and Sir John Eliot Gardiner's return to the LSO. See below for full details.
Daniil Trifonov is the subject of the LSO's Artist Portrait next season. The Portrait begins in February 2019 when he performs Ravel Piano Concerto with the orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle, and continues in June with a performance of Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5 and a solo recital of works by Beethoven and Prokofiev. It culminates on 16 June with a performance of Shostakovich Concerto No.1 for piano, trumpet and strings.
On 29 September 2018, Ben Gernon conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Holst The Planets, presented by scientist and broadcaster Professor Brian Cox.
Sir James MacMillan's All the Hills and Vales Along receives its world premiere from the London Symphony Orchestra and Simon Halsey's London Symphony Chorus on 4 November and forms part of the Barbican Centre's series of events commemorating the First World War. Earlier that day, the piece is the focus of an LSO Discovery Day, during which members of the public can attend a morning LSO rehearsal of the MacMillan premiere followed by chamber music and a discussion about creative responses to World War I.
Martyn Brabbins is also involved in the First World War anniversary, conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of Cheryl Frances-Hood's Last Man Standing, part of a programme that also includes Bax November Woods and Vaughan Williams Symphony No.4.
Marin Alsop returns to the Barbican on 4 December to continue the Bernstein at 100 celebrations with a concert performance of the composer's Candide. Leonardo Capalbo stars in the title role.
Leonidas Kavakos makes two appearances at the Barbican during the 2018/19 season. In September he joins Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax in bringing their critically acclaimed Brahms Piano Trios to the Barbican Hall. In December, he renews his relationship with Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO when he performs Brahms Violin Concerto.
James Ehnes returns to the Barbican on 18 January 2019, performing Beethoven Violin Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Mary Bevan joins John Butt and the BBC Symphony Orchestra to perform Bach's B minor Mass on 2 February, singing with her sister Sophie Bevan, tenor Samuel Boden and bass-baritone Edward Grint.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner continues his fruitful collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra in February, conducting two concerts of works by Weber, Mendelssohn and Schumann. Gardiner is joined by soloists Isabelle Faust, Kristian Bezuidenhout and Piotr Anderszewski.
Lahav Shani joins the LSO in February, alongside pianist Simon Trpčeski, for a concert of Weill, Rachmaninov and Stravinsky.
Nora Fischer joins the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor Joana Carneiro in concert on 11 May, performing as soprano soloist in the UK premiere of Golijov Oceana.
Intermusica brings the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia to the Barbican on 25 May for a concert with their Music Director, Sir Antonio Pappano.
Kian Soltani performs at LSO St Luke's in June, as part of the ECHO Rising Stars tour, for which he was nominated by the Wiener Konzerthaus and Wiener Musikverein.
Ben Gernon returns to the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, stepping in for Fabio Luisi
Ben Gernon returns to the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra for three subscription concerts at the Rudolfinum on 31 January and 1 and 2 February, following his debut with the orchestra last November.
He is joined by International Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition winner Lukáš Vondráček for Beethoven Piano Concerto No.3 and the programme also features Mozart Overture to Don Giovanni and Brahms Symphony No.2.
Ben Gernon makes debut with the SWR Symphonie Orchester
Ben Gernon returns to Germany this month to make his debut with the SWR Symphonie Orchester in two concerts at Stuttgart's Liederhalle on 24 and 26 January 2018.
Gernon and the orchestra are joined for concerts by Simon Höfele and Fabian Müller, both scholarship holders of SWR2 New Talent, who perform as soloists in Arutiunian Trumpet Concerto and Beethoven Piano Concerto No.3.
Elsewhere this month, Gernon returns to the BBC Philharmonic to lead the orchestra in a programme of Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms at Leeds Town Hall with fellow Intermusica artist Louis Schwizgebel. Gernon is the the orchestra's Principal Guest Conductor and is one of the youngest conductors to have held a titled position with a BBC orchestra.
Ben Gernon makes debut with Antwerp Symphony Orchestra
Ben Gernon makes the first of two debuts this month on 9 December 2017 with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra. The concert, at the Koningin Elisabethzaal, sees Gernon conduct Elgar In the South and Tchaikovsky Symphony No.5. He is also joined by Intermusica's James Ehnes for Korngold’s Violin Concerto.
After returning to the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for an afternoon performance at Glasgow City Halls on 14 December featuring excerpts from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, Gernon makes his second debut of the month with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse on 21 December at the Halle aux Grains. In Toulouse Gernon conducts Beethoven Symphony No.2 and is joined by the eminent French pianist François-René Duchable for Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.2.
Gernon begins the new year in Manchester as he conducts the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and Intermusica's Louis Schwizgebel in a programme of Beethoven Pinao Concerto No.5, Mozart Overture to Don Giovanni and Brahms Symphony No.2.
Ben Gernon makes debut with the Czech Philharmonic
Ben Gernon makes his debut with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra this month, conducting them in concert at the Rudolfinum on 11 November 2017. The centrepiece of the concert is the world premiere of Richard Blackford's Niobe for Violin and Orchestra, with Tamsin Waley-Cohen joining Gernon and the orchestra as soloist. Either side of the new piece, Gernon conducts Mozart Symphony No.31 in D major 'Paris' and Mendelssohn Symphony No.1, which was written when the composer was just 15 years of age.
Elsewhere this month, Gernon also returns to the BBC Symphony Orchestra for a performance at the Barbican Centre on 7 November. He conducts a programme of Britten Sinfonia da Requiem followed by the London premiere of Alasdair Nicolson Shadows on the Wall with soprano Anna Stéphany. He ends the concert with a rendition of Tchaikovsky Symphony No.1, 'Winter Dreams'.
Gernon conducted 'Winter Dreams' for his "triumphant" (Bachtrack) debut with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 2015 - click here to watch a clip of the performance.
Ben Gernon conducts Il barbiere di Siviglia with Glyndebourne on Tour
Ben Gernon returns to Glyndebourne Festival Opera this month to conduct Rossini Il barbiere di Siviglia from 8 October 2017. Gernon conducts the opera at Glyndebourne throughout October, before leading it on tour to Canterbury, Norwich, Milton Keynes and Plymouth in November. Gernon made his debut at Glyndebourne last season with Mozart Don Giovanni.
Sandwiched between performances at Glyndebourne, Gernon also makes his debut with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin in a performance at the Philharmonie on 18 October. The programme features Elgar In the South and Britten Four Sea Interludes as well as the Ginastera Harp Concerto performed by Agnes Clement and the world premiere of Luke Bedford Concerto for Orchestra and Saxophone Quartet performed by the Arcis Saxophone Quartet.
Ben Gernon makes his debut with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
Ben Gernon travels to Norway this month to make his debut with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra on 11 August 2017. The performance takes place outside the 12th century Ringsaker Church as part of the Prøysen Festival, the orchestra's first appearance at the festival.
Gernon conducts the orchestra in an eclectic mix of repertoire that features music from Tchaikovsky Swan Lake and Prokofiev Romeo & Juliet as well as many Scandinavian favourites.
Continuing his run of Scandinavian debuts, Gernon then makes his debut with Royal Swedish Opera on 25 August. Gernon conducts performances of Mozart The Magic Flute throughout August and September. Earlier this year, Der Neue Merker said of his Marriage of Figaro performance at Stuttgart Opera:
"Gernon lets Mozart’s music be a classic in the best sense of the word. Its attraction comes through quite naturally in a fresh and balanced interpretation like this one."
George Li & Ben Gernon debut with the Houston Symphony Orchestra
George Li and Ben Gernon both end the month in Houston where they make their debuts with the Houston Symphony Orchestra on 30 June 2017. Appearing at Houston's Miller Outdoor Theatre, Gernon conducts the orchestra in a programme of Mendelssohn Symphony No.1 and Glinka Overture to Ruslan and Lyudmila, with Li joining them to perform Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1.
Li's recent performances were met with high critical acclaim in the press:
"Under Li’s touch, Chopin’s exuberant composition exploded throughout the hall. Li revealed immediately why he is a rising star and a winner of international competitions. He plays with an animated style that fits the youthful Chopin’s work... Yet he revealed immediately..., his controlled, but expressive and delicate touch as he and the orchestra cast the spell of the contemplative movement, described by Chopin as a 'meditation in beautiful spring weather, but by moonlight.'"
Kansas City Metropolis, February 2017
Gernon recently made his debut at Oper Stuttgart, conducting Le nozze di Figaro to critical praise:
"Gernon lets Mozart’s music be a classic in the best sense of the word. Its attraction comes through quite naturally in a fresh and balanced interpretation like this one."
Der Neue Merkur, April 2017
Ben Gernon makes his Vienna Symphony Orchestra debut
Ben Gernon makes his debut with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra in a concert at the Museumsquartier in Vienna on 14 June.
He’ll conduct a varied programme with excerpts from operas including Bizet Carmen and R. Strauss Fledermaus, alongside some of the most popular dances from classical music: Offenbach ‘Can Can’ and Brahms Hungarian Dance No.5.
Gernon makes a second important debut later in June with the Houston Symphony Orchestra. He’ll also conduct the BBC Philharmonic at Bridgewater Hall on 10 June.
Ben Gernon returns to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Ben Gernon returns to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra this month to conduct two concerts on 4 and 6 May 2017 at Symphony Hall. Gernon and the orchestra are joined for the concerts by trumpeter Alison Balsom, who performs Haydn Trumpet Concert in E-flat major and Guy Barker Trumpet Concerto (Lantern of Light). Gernon also conducts Beethoven Symphony No.2 and Dvorák Symphony No.8.
A recent performance by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra of Beethoven Symphony No.3 in E-flat major, Op.55 'Eroica' conducted by Gernon received high acclaim in the press:
"Gernon knows how to give his musicians the freedom to do what they do best."
Arts Desk, February 2017
Symphonic Cinema receives UK premiere from the BBC Symphony Orchestra & Ben Gernon
Symphonic Cinema receives its UK debut on 29 April 2017, when the BBC Symphony Orchestra gives two performances of Stravinsky The Firebird at the Barbican Centre. Conducted by Intermusica's Ben Gernon, the performances are part of the Barbican's Sound Unbound festival, which aims to allow audiences to experience classical music in new and exciting ways.
Symphonic Cinema was created by Dutch film director Lucas van Woerkum, who uses customised software to cut the Symphonic Cinema Firebird visuals live on screen to fit with the orchestra's performance.
Symphonic Cinema debuted in 2010, and in 2015 the first feature-length production (Stravinsky The Firebird) received five sell-out performances at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. Symphonic Cinema made its Asian debut in October 2016 in a performance at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing.
Ben Gernon makes debut with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Ben Gernon begins the month in Stockholm, where he conducts his debut concert with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Berwaldhallen on 5 April 2017.
Gernon conducts the orchestra in a contemporary programme that features Benjamin Staern Trumpet Concertino and Tansy Davies Streamlines as well as the world premiere of Andreas Zhibaj Viola Concerto, performed by Eriikka Nylund.
Gernon's other concerts this month include performances with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, Oper Stuttgart and at the Barbican Centre's 'Sound Unbound' Festival with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Ben Gernon makes his debut with Staatsorchester Stuttgart
Ben Gernon makes his debut with the Staatsorchester Stuttgart at the Liederhalle on 12 and 13 March 2017, conducting a rich and varied programme of Britten Peter Grimes: Four Sea Interludes, Korngold Violin Concerto and Tchaikovsky Symphony No.4.
Gernon is a skilled conductor of Tchaikovsky, receiving critical acclaim for his interpretation of Symphony No.1 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra:
"Gernon and the orchestra concluded the symphony in triumphant style, even risking a daredevil accelerando in the final bars of Tchaikovsky’s resplendent coda.”
"Ben Gernon’s conducting [was] worthy of comparison with Andris Nelsons’ white hot CBSO performance three years ago. Even the flamboyant Nelsons couldn’t match Gernon’s two-armed pectoral-clenching bodybuilder’s pose directed at the bass section, as he demanded even greater sonority from them in the finale. It worked!”
He then makes his debut at Stuttgart Opera conducting Mozart Il nozze di Figaro on 28 March, conducting further performances on 31 March and 19 April.
Ben Gernon & Narek Hakhnazaryan debut with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Ben Gernon steps in to make his debut with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in two performances at the Konserthuset on 22 and 23 February 2017. Joining him for these concerts is Narek Hakhnazaryan, who is also performing with the orchestra for the first time.
The programme opens with Kaija Saariaho Ciel d'hiver and also features Mendelssohn Symphony No.1 and Shostakovich Cello Concerto No.1, which Hakhnazaryan performed to "thrilling" (Salt Lake Tribune) effect in his debut with the Utah Symphony earlier in the month.
The concerts in Stockholm are just the first in a series of debuts for Gernon over the coming months: in March he conducts the Swedish Radio Symphony for the first time, and then in Stuttgart he makes debuts with the Staatstheater Stuttgart and Stuttgart Opera, where he conducts Mozart Il nozze di Figaro.
Ben Gernon is announced as Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic
Ben Gernon will take up the position of Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic in autumn 2017, one of the youngest conductors to have held a titled position with a BBC orchestra.
Since working with the BBC Philharmonic for the first time in 2014, Gernon has built a strong and vibrant relationship with the orchestra in a wide range of projects and programmes across the North of England. As Principal Guest Conductor, Gernon will conduct the orchestra in a number of concerts each year, at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and elsewhere, in both core and contemporary repertoire. Gernon will also be an integral part of exciting new developments in the digital and educational fields, areas to which he is deeply committed.
Reactions from Alan Davey, Simon Webb and Ben Gernon:
Alan Davey, Controller, BBC Radio 3, BBC Proms and BBC Orchestras & Choirs, says: “Ben Gernon is an exciting conductor who has been making waves both in the UK and internationally and his musical connection with the BBC Philharmonic has been clear to see through their concerts together. I’m looking forward to watching their relationship continue to grow as Ben takes up this important new role and hope that audiences enjoy this first run of concerts together, whether in person in Manchester or Nottingham or through our live Radio 3 broadcasts.”
Simon Webb, General Manager, BBC Philharmonic: “The decision to appoint Ben Gernon is based on the unanimously positive reaction of the orchestra to his style of conducting, his spontaneity, and his natural communication with both the orchestra and our audiences. Ben has already performed a wide range of repertoire with the BBC Philharmonic, ranging from core classical works to the UK premiere of Thomas Larcher’s Ouroboros, and has delighted audiences in many of our regular venues across the North of England over the last two years. His passion for new music, for reaching new audiences, and for exploring the new technologies being developed by the BBC, coupled with his brilliance as a conductor, make him the perfect match for the BBC Philharmonic’s bold and adventurous music-making.”
Ben Gernon: “Over the last two years of working with this extraordinary orchestra, we have built an exhilarating and rewarding artistic partnership. A combination of the orchestra's world-class musicians and their contagious passion and love of music, makes for an electrifying live experience of the BBC Philharmonic. It is a real privilege for me to take up my first titled position as the BBC Philharmonic’s Principal Guest Conductor, and it is with admiration that I look forward to our future seasons together.”
Gernon is conducting the BBC Philharmonic this week in concerts at MediaCityUK, Salford, in Nottingham and at The Bridgewater Hall, with live BBC Radio 3 broadcasts on Tuesday 31 January, at 14.00, and Friday 3 February at 19.30. See the complete details below:
Visit Gernon's new website for more information.
Ben Gernon returns to the Royal Scottish National Orchestra for Viennese Gala concerts
Ben Gernon begins the new year with a return to the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, conducting a programme of Viennese music at venues across Scotland, beginning at Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline on 6 January 2017. Gernon and the orchestra are joined by soprano Jennifer France for a programme featuring the works of Johan and Richard Strauss, Lehár and Mascagni.
Gernon and the orchestra then continue on to Langholm, Perth and Inverness before ending their tour at Albert Halls in Stirling on 11 January.
Ben Gernon steps in to conduct Het Gelders Orkest
Ben Gernon steps in to conduct the Het Gelders Orkest with soloist Michael Foyle and concerts on 2, 3 and 4 September 2016.
The orchestra will perform pieces by Mascagni, Saint-Saens, Verdi, Grieg and Debussy and the performances take place in open-air theatres.
Ben Gernon joins Intermusica for worldwide management
We are delighted to announce that the outstanding young British conductor Ben Gernon has joined Intermusica for general management.
Since winning the Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductor’s Award in 2013 Gernon has conducted extensively across the UK, Europe, Japan and the USA. Praised repeatedly for his natural authority on the podium, his effortless command of the orchestra and his incisive, heart-felt and evocative interpretations, Gernon has already, at the age of 27, built several close and ongoing relationships with orchestras either side of the Atlantic.
Gernon, a Dudamel fellow with the LA Philharmonic in the 2013/14 season, now looks forward to two major US debuts in the coming weeks: with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia on 23 July and at the Hollywood Bowl on 4 August conducting the LA Philharmonic.
Highlights of his 2016/17 season elsewhere include his debut with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and, in the pit, Don Giovanni with Glyndebourne Touring Opera, and The Marriage of Figaro at Stuttgart Opera. He will return to the City of Birmingham Symphony, BBC Philharmonic and Royal Scottish National orchestras.
Watch Gernon conduct an excerpt from Tchaikovsky Symphony No.1 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra below:
Ben Gernon: Major US debuts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra & at the Hollywood Bowl
Ben Gernon travels to the United States this summer for two major debuts: first with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia Festival on 26 July, followed by his Hollywood Bowl debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on 4 August. Both programmes feature Stravinsky Firebird, Debussy La Mer and Britten Peter Grimes: Four Sea Interludes.
Gernon was a Dudamel Fellow with the LA Philharmonic in 2013/14. During his time with the orchestra, Gernon assisted on a variety of projects and conducted their Symphonies for Schools concerts in multi-media enhanced performances of Vivaldi The Four Seasons and Tchaikovsky Symphony No.1 and the Nutcracker Suite. Click here to watch interviews with Gernon from previous visits to Ravinia Festival and the LA Phil.