BBC CO has appeared regularly at the Southbank over the past few years, including in the Rest is Noise festival in 2013 and Pull Out All The Stops festival this year, and it will open the major 2015 festival, Changing Britain 1945-2015, in January.
Changing Britain 1945-2015 is inspired by historian David Kynaston’s books about the social history of Britain from the end of the Second World War onwards. The festival will begin on 30 January with Friday Night is Music Night: On the Wireless and off the Box, featuring the BBC CO conducted by Gavin Sutherland and presented by BBC Radio 2’s Ken Bruce. The season will also include concerts celebrating British radio and television, music reflecting Margaret Thatcher’s time in government and pieces written more recently by the likes of Oliver Knussen, Jonathan Dove, Michael Nyman and Judith Weir.
Gillian Moore, head of classical music at Southbank Centre, says: ‘The BBC Concert Orchestra has formed an increasingly prominent part of Southbank Centre’s programming, in particular our festivals, and we’re delighted they’re a key part of our opening festival of 2015. The orchestra’s versatility and dynamism perfectly complements the centre’s diverse output.’
The BBC CO has been the house orchestra for Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night since 1952 and is joining a distinguished roster of associate artists at the Southbank, including conductor Marin Alsop and percussionist Colin Currie, as well as the resident orchestras – the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Sinfonietta and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
General manager of the BBC CO, Andrew Connolly says: ‘Becoming an associate orchestra at Southbank Centre marks the moment for me when the BBC CO can be said to truly be an orchestra of the 21st century. This partnership gives us the confidence and the platform to present new and distinctive work in concerts developed as part of Southbank Centre’s own festivals and seasons.’
Changing Britain 1945-2015 takes place at the Southbank Centre from 30 January to 9 May 2015. Visit: www.southbankcentre.co.uk to find out more