Serving the South and South West of England, but with a national and international reputation, the BSO has been a cultural beacon since its foundation in 1893. The Orchestra has worked with such illustrious figures as Bartók, Sibelius, Holst, Stravinsky and Vaughan Williams and more recently with Michael Tippett, John Tavener, Peter Maxwell Davies, Rodion Shchedrin and James MacMillan. Kirill Karabits is the BSO’s current Principal Conductor. Recently awarded Conductor of the Year by the RPS, he succeeds founder Sir Dan Godfrey and a host of conductor greats including Charles Groves, Constantin Silvestri, Rudolf Schwarz, Paavo Berglund, Andrew Litton, Yakov Kreizberg and Marin Alsop.
The BSO tours worldwide and has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center, New York; Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Vienna; Rudolfinum, Prague; and Philharmonie, Berlin. It makes regular appearances at venues in London and across the UK as well as promoting over 130 concerts in its home territory of over 10,000 square miles - from full symphonic concerts in Poole, Bournemouth, Exeter, Bristol, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Southampton, Cheltenham, Brighton and Basingstoke to a variety of ensembles which perform at smaller and more unusual venues. BSO musicians also take part in an extensive array of projects, from national curriculum based workshops in schools, through to tea dances for the elderly, performing alongside enthusiastic amateur players and song-writing projects for homeless young people.
The BSO has over 300 recordings to its name since pioneering beginnings in 1914. Recent releases of Bernstein, Vaughan Williams, Finzi, Glass, Bartók, Weill, Adams, Bach/Stokowski, Mussorgsky and Khachaturian have all been highly acclaimed. A recent Onyx collaboration with Kirill and James Ehnes of the Britten and Shostakovich Violin Concertos has received rave reviews and the BSO also partnered Nicola Benedetti in her CD The Silver Violin which was the top-selling classical recording of 2012.