Thomas Søndergård named BBC National Orchestra of Wales principal conductor

Martin Cullingford12th Jul 2011
Thomas Søndergård to take over BBC NOW (photo: Betina Skovbro)Thomas Søndergård to take over BBC NOW (photo: Betina Skovbro)

Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård has been named as the new principal conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. He takes up the role in September next year, succeeding Thierry Fischer, and in the meantime will hold the title of principal conductor designate.

Søndergård is currently principal conductor and musical adviser of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra. Recent recordings include Ruders's opera Kafka's Trial on Dacapo, as well violinist Vilde Frang's recent EMI release of Prokofiev and Sibelius concertos.

Søndergård made his BBC NOW debut in December 2009, which he recalls as "an amazing moment for me and I retain a vivid memory of the players' involvement and sheer enthusiasm from the very first note. It is encounters with such musicians, eager to join me in finding a common path to the heart of the music, which remind me why I love to make music."

Welsh audiences – and BBC Radio 3 listeners – can next hear the partnership perform this evening at Cardiff's Hoddinott Hall (Tuesday July 12). The programme includes Sibelius's En Saga, Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No 1 (with Baiba Skride as soloist) and Dvorák's Ninth Symphony.

The orchestra's director David Murray offered hints as to what repertoire the Søndergård/BBC NOW partnership might explore: “As a Dane, music from the Nordic countries has a special significance for Thomas, but his repertoire is very wide and this will translate into an enticing musical diet for our audiences."

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