Since Gianandrea Noseda's arrival at the BBC Philharmonic in 2002, the Manchester orchestra has gone from strength to strength. Their Beethoven cycle in 2005 was superbly received and made headlines for being available as a free download on the Radio 3 website. 1.4 million people took up the opportunity, and the orchestra won a South Bank Award for it.
Noseda's contract has recently been extended to 2010, and details of the 2008-09 season at the Bridgewater Hall have just been announced. With the conductor's increasingly high profile in the opera world – he leads new productions of La traviata and Il trovatore at the Met next year, as well as continuing to expand the repertoire of his Turin opera company – Noseda's schedule with the BBC Philharmonic is characterised by large-scale choral and operatic works.
The season launches on 26 September 2008 with a performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, with soloists Hillevi Martinpelto, Jane Irwin, Paul Nilon and Iain Paterson. Alongside the Choral Symphony, the orchestra will perform Berio's Formazioni. Following this is the potential season highlight on 11 October, excerpts from Act IV of Verdi's Otello and Act III of Puccini's La bohème with soloists including Irina Lungu and Laura Giordano. The operatic scenes are sandwiched between Respighi's Fountains of Rome and Roman Festivals. In November, Noseda continues his exploration of Rachmaninoff's one-act operas (after an acclaimed Francesca da Rimini last year) with The Miserly Knight, which will be recorded for Chandos. Ildar Abdrazakob plays the Baron.
On 17 January, Noseda returns for a concert of Mozart (including arias with Sally Matthews) and Dallapiccola's Partita, then leads another big work on 25 April, Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust. Alice Coote, Gregory Kunde, James Rutherford and Ildar Abdrazakov are the soloists.
Two hundred years after the great composer's death, the BBC Philharmonic will present a series of concerts of the music of Joseph Haydn. Noseda conducts several of these, including the 'Farewell' Symphony on 3 June, three of the 'name' symphonies on 6 June, the Scena di Berenice, Te Deum and Theresienmesse on 11 June and The Creation on 13 June. Soloists include Kate Royal, Elizabeth Watts, Andrew Kennedy, Neal Davies and Susan Bickley.
Other highlights of the season include Leila Josefowicz giving the world premiere of Steven Mackey's Violin Concerto; James Macmillan conducting his own fiftieth birthday concert; Chief Guest Conductor leading a Scandinavian season, including a performance of Nielsen's Violin Concerto with James Ehnes, and a performance of Shostakovich's Suite on Verses of Michelangelo with Sir John Tomlinson; and an intriguing concert of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Piano Concerto in F (played by Wayne Marshall) alongside Ravel's Piano Concerto in G and Concert for the Left Hand (played by Nelson Goerner).
With all this provided by the BBC Philharmonic in addition to the Halle's previously-announced new season, music lovers in Manchester are lucky to have so much to look forward to.
See also our preview of the Royal Opera, Covent Garden's 2008-09 season here.
See also our preview of ENO's 2008-09 season here.
See also our preview of the Opera national de Paris' 2008-09 season here.
See also our preview of the 2008 Edinburgh Festival here.
Plus our preview of the Barbican's Great Performers 2008-09 season here.
And read our preview of the London Philharmonic's 2008-09 season here.
Also see details of Welsh National Opera's 2008-09 season here.