BBC Symphony Orchestra launches 90th birthday celebrations

The BBC Symphony Orchestra revisits its very first tour to Scandinavia as part of its 90th anniversary celebrations, which features a mix of Finnish and British music

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The BBC Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1930, celebrates its 90th birthday this year. On 22 October, exactly 90 years since it was first launched, the orchestra will celebrate with an afternoon performance on BBC Radio 3 under its principal guest conductor Dalia Stasevska. Joined by baritone Roderick Williams, the orchestra will perform a selection of Finnish and British works, in tribute to its first international tour to Scandinavia in 1956 under Malcolm Sargent.

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The programme will feature Sibelius‘s Scènes historiques, part of which was played during the orchestra’s first tour, as well as British works spanning four centuries of music, including Purcell, Vaughan Williams, Finzi, Britten and Judith Weir.

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The orchestra is also set to release recordings of works by Finnish composers Einojuhani Rautavaara and Lotta Wennäkoski, as well as a performance of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring from the orchestra’s birthday celebrations a decade ago.