The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra's 2009-10 season will be an extended and exciting celebration of Gustav Mahler's 150th anniversary.
The BBC Philharmonic opens and closes the season with its Mahler tribute (16 January to 5 June) and performs five of the symphonies, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda and Vassily Sinaisky.
In May the BBC Philharmonic and The Hallé combine forces to perform Symphony of a Thousand conducted by Mark Elder. Manchester Camerata completes the cycle with Das Lied von der Erde.
Similar in style and scope to the Orchestra's award winning Shostakovich and His Heroes Festival in 2006, this complete survey of another remarkable cycle includes a world premiere by a living composer before each symphony, featuring works by Kurt Schwertsik, Friedrich Cerha, Edward Gregson, David Matthews and Anthony Payne.
But Mahler's is not the only anniversary, as the BBC Philarmonic will be celebrating its own 75th birthday this year, with the main celebrations taking place in October 2009. The exciting highlights planned for this eventful season include adventurous programmes, world renowned guest conductors and great performers.
Chief Conductor Gianandrea Noseda leads a season spanning nearly two and a half centuries and featuring works by Beethoven, Wagner, Bartók and Rachmaninoff, as well as music by Saint-Saëns, Sibelius, Stravinsky and Shostakovich.
However, if your taste tends to stray from the mainstream, the BBC Philarmonic's ongoing Neglected Genius series will continue to prompt debate and reappraisal of works too often left out of concert programmes. This season features performances of works by Dallapiccola, Martinu and the much overlooked English composer EJ Moeran.
New Composer/Conductor HK Gruber makes his formal debut in his new role with the UK premiere of Busking, with virtuoso trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger.
Also taking the podium will be the BBC Philharmonic's distinguished Chief Guest Conductor Vassily Sinaisky alongside Yutaka Sado, Gunther Herbig, Pablo Heras-Casado and the Frenchman Ludovic Morlot.
Star soloists include Ian Bostridge, Leonidas Kavakos, James Ehnes, Sergey Khachatryan, Alban Gerhardt and Louis Lortie as well as outstanding young violinist Tianwa Yang.
On top of this, the Orchestra continues its busy community programme in nearby Salford, paving the way for the move to the BBC's new base in the North at MediaCity in 2011.
But the BBC Philarmonic's excellent sound will also be available on record, thanks to the Orchestra's prized partnership with Chandos Records, which will see discs of music by Elgar conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, and of Arnold Ballets (conducted by Rumon Gamba) on sale in coming months.
And should you still find it difficult to hear a performance of the BBC Philarmonic Orchestra, never fear: six of the BBC Philharmonic's 18 dates at the Bridgewater Hall this season will go out live on BBC Radio 3. All these live dates are on Friday nights, and will start at 7pm. On Saturday night, journalist and broadcaster Lynne Walker will continue to host her Preview interviews at 6.30pm exploring themes relating to the programme. Concerts on Saturday nights will be at the traditional start time of 7.30pm.
This is not a complete list of all the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra events. For further information visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/orchestras/philharmonic/.
Photos: BBC Philharmonic Principal Conductor Gianandrea Noseda. Credits: Jonathan Keenan
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