Scottish Chamber Orchestra principal conductor Robin Ticciati is to renew his contract with the orchestra until 2018, it was revealed today as part of the announcement of the orchestra’s 40th anniversary season in 2013-14. Highlights of the new season include a Schumann symphony cycle, new works from Peter Maxwell Davies and Martin Suckling, and a Far East tour that takes in China and Japan.
Announcing details of the season, SCO chief executive Roy McEwan said: ‘We’re delighted to be celebrating our 40th anniversary by bringing together superb repertoire, a wonderful roster of guest artists and conductors, and of course our brilliant SCO players. The best birthday gift we could have received is Robin Ticciati committing to the orchestra for a further three years.’
Ticciati’s Schumann cycle, which the orchestra also plans to record, continues the conductor’s well-received explorations of Romantic music established in recent years, and he opens the season with a concert performance of Berlioz’s opera Beatrice and Benedict. Pianist Maria João Pires extends her relationship with the SCO in a performance of Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto in the anniversary concert itself in February 2014, which also includes a celebratory new piece from Glasgow-born Martin Suckling and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.
Among the soloists joining the orchestra in 2013-14 are Paul Lewis, Nicola Benedetti, Steven Isserlis and Tasmin Little, and the SCO also spotlights its own players ‒ including flautist Alison Mitchell, clarinettist Maximiliano Martín, horn player Alec Frank-Gemmill and bassoonist Peter Whelan ‒ in concerto performances.
Alongside the new pieces from Maxwell Davies and Suckling, the orchestra also includes recent works by Kevin Volans, Sally Beamish and James MacMillan, and the orchestra visits several European cities ‒ including Vienna, Salzburg, Cologne and Budapest ‒ as well as its six dates in the Far East.
Speaking of the anniversary season, McEwan said: ‘There’s a really nice group of things which in many ways distils what the SCO is about – international touring in Europe and beyond, the continuing relationship with Robin Ticciati, working with great artists like Pires, and a new piece in the gala concert.’
Ticciati said he felt he was only at the start of his relationship with the orchestra: ‘The more we work together, the more we want to explore music together. When I put our relationship in the context of our search for fresh ways of inspiring our existing audiences and our continued development of audiences abroad, it feels as if we have only just begun!’
Brochures for the SCO’s 2013/14 season are available here.