From Thomas Beecham to Arturo Toscanini, Pierre Boulez, Gennady Rozhdestvensky and more, the BBC Symphony Orchestra has been home to world-class maestros showcasing their unique interpretations and leadership. From strict classical pieces to contemporary tunes, the orchestra is recognized for its attention to fine details and bringing out the most original interpretation of any masterpiece.
Under the helm of conductor laureate Andrew Davis, the BBC Symphony Orchestra will perform on Oct. 8 and 9 at Seoul Arts Center and Daejeon Culture and Arts Center, respectively. The orchestra, most famous for its performance at the annual London summer classical music festival, “BBC Proms,” will be featuring quintessential British composers, performing Elgar’s “Pomp & Circumstance March No. 1” and “Enigma Variations,” as well as Walton’s Viola Concerto and Britten’s “Four Sea Interludes” from “Peter Grimes.” The composers are all from Britain, and were active in the 19th and 20th centuries.
|The BBC Symphony Orchestra’s conductor laureate Andrew Davis leads the BBC Symphony Orchestra. (Credia)|
In an interview with The Korea Herald, Davis said the concert is about going all British. “I want to share this music that I love and of which I am immensely proud with the people of Korea,” he said. Elgar and Walter are two of the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s specialties, the orchestra having released recordings of the composers in the past.
Elgar’s tunes are very familiar ― “Pomp & Circumstance March No. 1” has become an idiosyncratic tune of confidence ever since it was used in the Miss Korea pageants. The excerpt from Britten’s opera “Peter Grimes” provokes mystery, drama and awe from the audience.
Walton’s work will come rather advanced and uneasy. Violist Richard Yongjae O’Neill will join in the piece, which was originally composed for Lionel Tertis (1876-1975), a legendary violist. Even Tertis is said to have rejected the score as he reportedly found it to be “too innovative” at the time.
O’Neill is expected to take the challenge of leading the intricate melody line with sophistication. Davis, who has always been keen on discovering contemporary music with young artists, said he is excited to present the tune. “I have learned about O’Neill and his fame. I am really looking forward to being with him on stage,” he added.
An event that makes BBC Symphony Orchestra stand out is the “BBC Proms,” an annual summer festival of classical music where the orchestra performs the opening and closing sessions. By performing with world-class artists, the orchestra diversifies its repertoires.
And another big supporter, not surprisingly, is the BBC.
“The BBC Symphony Orchestra is in a unique position because of its affiliation with the BBC itself. It gains tremendous exposure throughout the world through both radio and television broadcasts, and thus many people across the globe have been fortunate enough to experience this great orchestra even if they do not have the opportunity to hear the live orchestral performance,” he said.
“I have been to Korea 16 years ago and it was a great experience. I hope this time it will be the same,” he said.
By Bae Ji-sook (firstname.lastname@example.org)