4 April 2017

The Barcelona Symphony Orchestra presents its 2017-2018 season

This will be Kazushi Ono's third season as the titular conductor and it includes 8 high intensity programmes and the celebration of Bernstein's centennial

Maria João Pires, Julian Rachlin, Martin Fröst, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Vilde Frang, Daniel Müller-Schott and the Ensemble Intercontemporain are just some of the OBC's guests.

The OBC will offer 19 first performances of works with a great symphonic repertoire, it will also present 5 premieres and 4 specially commissioned works.


The Barcelona Symphony Orchestra presents a season packed with symphonies that will excite the public under the motto "Music Touches Us". The OBC will focus its new season on the second half of the nineteenth century up until the present time in a commitment to pursuing its artistic project. During the 17-18 season, which will be the third for Kazushi Ono as titular conductor, the Orchestra will interpret an extensive list of works that it has never played before. In particular, it will offer 19 first performances that will include scores of great importance in the history of music, such as Dvořák's Requiem and Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 1, as well as 5 contemporary releases by composers such as Parra, Cruixent, Palomar and Ros Marbà. The music of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann will continue to enrich the Orchestra's sound at the hand of leading guest conductor Jan Willen de Vriend along with his intense work on compositions ranging from the eighteenth to the nineteenth century.

For the Inaugural Concert, which will be held on 29 September, Kazushi Ono will be accompanied by the virtuoso violinist Julian Rachlin to perform Tchaikovsky's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, known for its high degree of difficulty, as part of a programme in which the OBC will interpret Beethoven's grandiose Eroica. This will be the first of the 8 programmes that Ono will direct at the L'Auditori and it will allow the public to enjoy works such as Brahms Symphony No. 1, Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5, Mahler's Fourth, Beethoven's "Emperor" concerto, Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Strauss and Violin Concertos No.1 by Bruch and Bach, performed by Nikolaj Znaider and Frank Peter Zimmermann respectively.

The best works for violin will be the protagonists this season at the L'Auditori and to interpret them the OBC has invited great soloists of the stature of Ilya Gringolts who will offer the concerto L'arbre des songes by Dutilleux directed by Hannu Lintu, Sergei Krilov will play the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 1 by Shostakovich and the Norwegian star Vilde Frang will play Beethoven's Violin Concerto.

The conductor Kazushi Ono will also star in the centenary of Leonard Bernstein putting one of his great symphonic-choral works on the OBC lecterns: Symphony No. 3 "Kaddish”, which will be its first performance at the L'Auditori. The centenary commemoration will open with a screening of the Oscar-winning West Side Story on a big screen while the OBC plays the magnificent Bernstein soundtrack live.

The love story between Tony and Maria will not be the only cinematographic work of the season. The established series OBCinema, which brings together the great soundtracks of the seventh art and which has been a great success with the public, will bring ET The Extra-terrestrial to the L'Auditori this season. This Steven Spielberg classic, with the magnificent music of John Williams, will be joined by Fantasia, a script inspired by the great works of classical music from Bach to Tchaikovsky and from Beethoven to Stravinsky, which Walt Disney was so passionate about. The great musicals will also be played by the OBC who will dedicate the concert One Night on Broadway to Andrew Lloyd Webber, the father of immortal melodies such as Cats, The Phantom of the Opera and Evita.


Four concerts with double soloists and other unique programmes

This season the OBC will offer four concerts with double soloists, three of them with two pianos on stage. An exceptional programme that will allow the public to enjoy four pairs of talents with special pieces such as the one that will combine the experience of Maria João Pires with the youth of Ignasi Cambra in Mozart’s Concerto No. 10 for two pianos. Brothers Lucas and Arthur Jussen will also take to the stage with Mozart when they perform his Concerto No. 7 for two pianos, directed by Jan Willem de Vriend. And staying with the piano, the Catalans Josep Colom and Albert Guinovart will star in the first performance of the Iberian Preludes by Benejam in a concert to celebrate the 80th birthday of conductor Antoni Ros Marbà who will direct the concert and premiere the piece. The fourth concert with double soloists will be offered by the brothers Abel and Arnau Tomàs, members of the Cuarteto Casals, who will perform the Concerto for violin, cello and orchestra by Brahms, which will be conducted by Kazushi Ono.

The performances featuring two soloists will not be the only special concerts this season. Clarinettist Martin Fröst, considered the world number 1 in communicating the virtuosity and sensitivity of the clarinet, will present a performance of Hillborg's Concerto with the OBC, which will go far beyond music and will add movement to surpass the traditional concept of a concert. Another special event this season will be directed by Josep Caballé, in which the OBC will premiere the work Requiem in Memory of Enrique Morente, written by Enric Palomar as a homage to the legendary cantaor (flamenco singer) who died seven years ago. It will share the concert with Falla's El Amor Brujo and Tres Danzas Españolas by Granados. One of the greatest concerts of the year will unite, for the first time, the OBC and the Ensemble Intercontemporain, the best contemporary music group today, which concludes its residence at the L'Auditori with the premiere of the composition Inscape by Hèctor Parra.


The OBC’s commitment to new musical talent

In the 17-18 season four emerging soloists will debut with the OBC during the Emergents Barcelona Music Festival to be held from 3 to 11 April 2018, which will bring together more than 30 national and international talents at the L'Auditori. The Orchestra's audience will be able to listen to cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who at the age of 17 won the BBC Young Musicians Competition 2016 and debuted with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the grand finale at the Barbican in London. Another of the talents presented will be the Catalan baritone Josep Ramon Olivé, winner of the First Prize and the Audience Prize at the Handel Competition in London in 2015. The weekend's pianist will be Rémi Geniet, recognised as the youngest winner in the history of the Bonn International Competition and who is also outstanding for having won 2nd place in the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2013 and first prize at the International Horowitz Competition at only 20 years old. And rounding off the display of talent is Ona Cardona, an outstanding homegrown clarinettist and winner of the Palau Prize, among others. The second part of the concerts will take Fontane di Roma by Ottorino Respighi as their common theme.


The OBC's social and educational commitment is a fundamental part of its artistic project and for that reason it works to bring symphonic music to new generations, through the initiative Servei Educatiu de L'Auditori, and to people in a vulnerable situation, in collaboration with Apropa Cultura, as is the case with the activity A Morning with the Orchestra, aimed at people with Alzheimer's disease or an intellectual disability. With this the OBC takes a step forward in its inclusion of all groups and it has incorporated its most social concert into the season, Et Toca a Tu (Your Turn), directed by the conductor Kazushi Ono. The OBC has commissioned a piece by Arnau Tordera for this season, which will share the stage with projects from the Big Band and the voices of the IES Guillem Catà de Manresa. In addition, this season the Orchestra will participate in two European projects, EO-LABII and the Music Upclose Network that aim to bring music to new audiences and, especially, to include the young people of the city.

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