Britten’s War Requiem, Mahler’s Symphony No 8 and Messiaen’s Turangalîla-symphonie are among the musical monoliths that the Royal Scottish National Orchestra has announced for its ambitious 2013/14 season, its second with Peter Oundjian as music director.
But in a bid to reach out to new audiences, the orchestra also offers a live soundtrack to classic Technicolor movie The Wizard of Oz in a partnership with Glasgow’s Glasgay! festival, as well as a concert of film music by John Williams and an evening with Scottish folk singer Dougie MacLean.
‘We hope we have created a season that attracts lots of different people,’ said Oundjian at the season launch. ‘It has to be an eclectic programme.’
Oundjian’s first three concerts as music director have attracted strong audiences in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and he directs eight of the RSNO’s 2013/14 events, with principal guest conductor Thomas Søndergård increasing his number to five. The orchestra also increases its Edinburgh and Glasgow concerts from 17 to 20, and extends its commitment to smaller-scale regional touring, visiting Inverness, Dunfermline, Langholm, Pitlochry and Arbroath. There are more chamber concerts than in the current season, but the orchestra’s popular Naked Classics series, which offers analysis and commentary on core repertoire, drops from three events to two.
Chief executive Michael Elliott said: ‘We have a strong season, with more concerts in Edinburgh and Glasgow, a greater commitment to bringing live orchestral music to medium-sized venues across Scotland, increasing our presentation of cross-genre programmes to attract new audiences, and the continued forging of partnerships.’
Oundjian opens the season in October, contrasting Holst’s The Planets with the UK premiere of James MacMillan’s Piano Concerto No 3, performed by Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and RSNO prinicipal clarinettist John Cushing is the soloist in MacMillan’s clarinet concerto Ninian in February 2014. Other soloists appearing with the orchestra in its new season include Sol Gabetta, Nikolai Lugansky, Nicola Benedetti, Richard Goode, Vilde Frang and Anoushka Shankar.
Britten’s War Requiem in November is one of a trio of performances marking the centenary of the composer’s birth, and Oundjian closes the season with Mahler’s Symphony No 8, drawing together soloists from across the Commonwealth and an expanded RSNO Chorus and Junior Chorus to look forward to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014.