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New explorations with the Gothenburg Symphony in 2018-2019

Pressmeddelande   •   Apr 06, 2018 10:00 CEST

Santtu-Matias Rouvali, Chief Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony.
  • Santtu-Matias Rouvali continues in his second season as Chief Conductor
  • Barbara Hannigan and Christoph Eschenbach announced as Principal Guest Conductors for 2019-20 season
  • Janine Jansen named Artist in Residence in 2018-19

Throughout the 2018-2019 season the Gothenburg Symphony and Chief Conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali present a series of exciting projects. Among them the world première of Daniel Bjarnason’s Percussion Concerto with soloist Martin Grubinger, Stravinsky’s recently discovered Funeral Song and Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No 1 with our season’s Artist in Residence, Janine Jansen.

We also have the pleasure of announcing the orchestra’s new Principal Guest Conductors designate: Christoph Eschenbach and Barbara Hannigan, commencing in 2019-2020, both of whom also make appearances with the Gothenburg Symphony in 2018.

Visiting conductors in 2018-2019 include Herbert Blomstedt, Simone Young, Han-Na Chang, AndrésOrozco-Estrada,Joana Carneiro and composer/conductor Peter Eötvös. Guest soloists include cellist Alisa Weilerstein, pianist Víkingur Ólafsson (who opens the season), violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann, pianist and conductor Christian Zacharias (plays/conducts Mozart) and pianist Alice Sara Ott. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will also make a rare visit to Gothenburg.

Details of all concerts, programmes and artists can be found in the attached pdf and here:

Managing and Artistic Director Sten Cranner makes a short conductor presentation in this film:

The success of Santtu-Matias Rouvali continues

There were many highlights during Santtu-Matias Rouvali’s first season as Chief Conductor of Gothenburg Symphony: a fabulous concert in his home town Lahti, a celebrated Nordic tour with pianist Hélène Grimaud, stunning performances of Sibelius’ Kullervo - “The orchestral playing was magnificent” (The Artsdesk) - and several recordings, all confirming the very special bond between conductor and orchestra. And the adventure continues. Says Rouvali:

“I can’t wait to start my second season as Chief Conductor! The musicians of this orchestra are so open to ideas which means we can programme such a broad season of music for the audience – this ranges from a new percussion concerto by Daniel Bjarnason and other contemporary pieces such as Nelson’s Steampunk Blizzard to epic masterpieces such as Strauss’ Alpine Symphony and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Martin Grubinger is the soloist for the percussion concerto which we tour to the major cities in Europe and Germany in the spring of 2019, with Alice Sara Ott also performing Liszt and Grieg.”

“The season opens with the fantastic Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson, and I look forward to working with Janine Jansen as this season’s Artist in Residence. Among all the other wonderful soloists I will also welcome Baiba Skride to play Bernstein’s Serenade, our recording of this and the Korngold and Rosza concertos will be released on Orfeo this summer.”

In 2019-2020, Santtu-Matias Rouvali will be joined by two Principal Guest Conductors. A team with many strengths, says Rouvali:

“I am delighted that we have appointed Christoph Eschenbach and Barbara Hannigan. As Chief Conductor of this wonderful orchestra it is my duty to see that the orchestra develops musically as a team and I am honoured to be joined by these two wonderful musicians. They will contribute repertory and artistry that will be invaluable for the orchestra and the audience. Very welcome, dear colleagues!”

Principal Guest Conductors Christoph Eschenbach and Barbara Hannigan

Two different generations, two different experiences - both with a solid passion for music. These two conductors have formed a strong connection with the Gothenburg Symphony, now being confirmed with their new titles.

After a long and illustrious career, Christoph Eschenbach belongs to that small group of highly regarded conductors who, with his experience and insights, are sought-after by the major international orchestras. He has been Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and works regularly with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. He very much looks forward to the new collaboration. Says Christoph Eschenbach:

“I am very excited about this position with the Gothenburg Symphony as my previous engagement with this orchestra proved to be artistically of the highest level! We will get to know each other in various different repertoire and simply enjoy making music together.”

The announcement of Barbara Hannigan as principal guest conductor is the result of a fruitful relationship with the orchestra, developed over several years since her first sing/conduct concert in 2013, which was a unanimous triumph. She has returned on several occasions as a soloist, and the joyous music-making and mutual trust resulted in Barbara Hannigan being appointed Artist in Residence 2015-2016.

Hannigan’s presence has been felt ever more strongly in Sweden in recent months, having been elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Music and being awarded the Rolf Schock prize, the multi-disciplinary award for ground-breaking and brilliant figures in their respective fields. Says Barbara Hannigan:

“I am more than thrilled to embark on this adventure with my colleagues at Gothenburg Symphony! I am passionate about our work together, and head over heels that I’ve been invited as Principal Guest Conductor. We have already taken such exciting leaps in our collaborations over the past several years, and I am sure we will create many more memories in the coming seasons with the Gothenburg audiences!”

Christoph Eschenbach will conduct Bruckner’s Symphony No 3 in September 2018, and in December Barbara Hannigan leads a very special venture: three performances of Stravinsky’s opera The Rake’s Progress, conducted by Hannigan and directed by Linus Fellbom. Singers are selected from Hannigan’s mentoring programme, Equilibrium, which works with young musicians in the first substantial phase of their career. The concerts will be filmed and a documentary team will follow the project from start to finish.

Artist in Residence Janine Jansen

In 2018-2019 we welcome the celebrated Dutch violinist Janine Jansen as Artist in Residence. She made her debut with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in 2004 and has since impressed audiences all over the world with her formidable technique, musical imagination and artistic courage. She will be playing Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No 1 and Anders Eliasson’s Solitary Journey and also perform chamber music.

For more information and photos, contact:

Stefan Nävermyr, editor, +46(0)31-726 53

Göteborgs Symfoniker, Sveriges Nationalorkester, bildades 1905 och består idag av 109 musiker. Från och med säsongen 2017-2018 är Santtu-Matias Rouvali chefdirigent för Göteborgs Symfoniker. Under dirigenten Neeme Järvis ledning 1982-2004 etablerade sig orkestern efter internationella turnéer och drygt 100 skivinspelningar bland Europas främsta orkestrar. Denna utveckling tog ytterligare ett steg framåt med Gustavo Dudamel, chefdirigent 2007-2012, en av vår tids mest uppmärksammade dirigenter.

Göteborgs Symfoniker är en del av Västra Götalandsregionen. Förste huvudsponsor: Volvo. Huvudsponsorer: SEB & GP.

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