Conductor Semyon Bychkov has joined the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a position specially created for him – the Günter Wand Conducting Chair.

Bychkov conducted the BBC Symphony Orchestra for the first time at the BBC Proms five years ago, in a performance of Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 2. He has since worked with the group during its Barbican season, in addition to several further collaborations at the Proms, in which he conducted repertoire by Verdi, Mahler and Shostakovich.

The Günter Wand Conducting Chair has been set up as a tribute to the German conductor who became principal guest conductor of the orchestra exactly 30 years ago.

‘I am deeply honoured by the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s gesture,’ said Bychkov. ‘The relationship it had with Günter Wand resulted in many memorable achievements, which live in the minds of those who witnessed them. To be asked to join in this tradition holds a very special meaning to me.’

Semyon Bychkov will be conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra tonight (8 August) at the BBC Proms in a programme of works by Schubert and Richard Strauss, as well as the UK premiere of Richard Dubugnon’s Battlefield Concerto performed by its dedicatees, pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque.

Tim Jacob-Owens