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.