Guide to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

© Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
© Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
preview to the 2017-18 season

Karabits leads the BSO on musical voyages of delight

Few orchestras in the UK cover as many miles – from Exeter and Portsmouth to Bristol and Basingstoke – although the Lighthouse in Poole has been its central home for decades.
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WeymouthVienna Calling

Mozart, Brahms, Beethoven
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; Victor Aviat; Chloë Hanslip

TruroVienna Calling

Mozart, Brahms, Beethoven
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; Victor Aviat; Chloë Hanslip

AlresfordMansfield Park

Dove: Mansfield Park
David Parry; Martin Lloyd-Evans; Dick Bird; Jeni Bern; Martha Jones; Elizabeth Cragg

Bradford on AvonVienna Calling

Mozart, Brahms, Beethoven
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; Victor Aviat; Chloë Hanslip

YeovilRevolutionary Hero

Mendelssohn, Mozart, Beethoven
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; Victor Aviat; Alexander Janiczek
Latest reviewsSee more...

Prom 30: Innovation, fantasy and Old Testament excess

Kirill Karabits and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra brought a wide ranging programme from the south coast for their annual Proms visit.
****1
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Museum piece? Walküre at Grange Park Opera

Trophy room glass display cases and glassy-eyed stuffed animals are the setting for a distinctive take on Wagner's epic music drama. 
****1
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A striking Carmen at Grange Festival

Sex and violence bubbles beneath the surface in this near-faultless staging of Carmen
*****
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A beguiling evening of exotic spice

Lalo's sunny slice of Seville formed the centrepiece of a programme by the BSO and James Gaffigan that completely lived up to its seductive “Exotic Spice” billing.
*****
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Fresh-sounding Weber and fiercely energetic Mahler

Stunning musicianship and passionate commitment gave two repertoire works a new lease of life. 
****1
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Biography

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.

Visit the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra website for more information.

Since 2008 Kirill Karabits has held the position of Chief Conductor of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Together they have been recording a Prokofiev cycle since 2013, of which Symphony No.5 was released to critical acclaim in July 2015 shortly before its performance at the BBC Proms. The 2015-16 season opened with hugely successful concert performances of Salome and the orchestra also gave a sell-out Classic FM Live concert at the Royal Albert Hall in April 2015.

From September 2016 Karabits assumed the position of General Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Deutsches Nationaltheater and Staatskapelle Weimar and his first production with them will be Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg

Karabits has worked with many of the leading ensembles of Europe, Asia and North America, including the Cleveland, Philadelphia and San Fransisco Symphony orchestras, Philharmonia Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Filarmonica del Teatro La Fenice and the BBC Symphony Orchestra – including a concertante version of Bluebeard’s Castle at the Barbican Centre. In spring 2016, he conducted the Russian National Orchestra on their tour of the US and returned to the RNO in August 2016 to conduct two concerts at the Edinburgh International Festival both with Mikhail Pletnev as a soloist. Summer 2016 also saw his debut with the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival.

A prolific opera conductor, Karabits has conducted at Glyndebourne Festival Opera (La bohème and Eugene Onegin), English National Opera (Don Giovanni) and the Bolshoi Theatre. He also conducted Der fliegende Holländer at the Wagner Geneva Festival in celebration of the composer’s anniversary, and recently returned to Staatsoper Hamburg to conduct Madama Butterfly. The 2016-17 season will saw debuts at both the Deutsche Oper and Oper Stuttgart.

Working with the next generation of bright musicians is of great importance to Karabits and as Artistic Director of I, CULTURE Orchestra he conducted them on their European tour in August 2015 with Lisa Batiashvili as soloist. In 2012 and 2014 he conducted the televised finals of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Award (working with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra).

He was named Conductor of the Year at the 2013 Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards.
« Karabits strode onto the stage and, with masterful insight, directed a captivating performance. The BSO responded immediately... brimming with energy and passion. »
Andrew Larkin, Bachtrack
© Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
© Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
our preview of the 2016-17 season

The European Elgar takes the Bournemouth limelight

Elgar is placed at the heart of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s programming next season, putting him very much into a European context.
Looking back at the 2015-16 season

Bournemouth launches its new season

Last September, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra was voted the “World’s Favourite Orchestra” in a Bachtrack poll of readers. Read about its new season here.
WFO 2014 winners

Bournemouth SO wins WFO 2014

Beating the big beasts of the orchestral jungle, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra has been voted the winner in Bachtrack’s World’s Favourite Orchestra 2014 poll.