Both the Hallé Orchestra and BBC Philharmonic have announced major Beethoven performances in their 2014-15 Manchester season plans. The Hallé ends its series on 6 June 2015 with the Missa Solemnis, conducted by Sir Mark Elder; the BBC Philharmonic opens on 27 September 2014 with the ninth symphony, and on 8 May 2015 perform Fidelio, both conducted by Juanjo Mena.
The Philharmonic will perform the Emperor piano concerto with soloist Hannes Minnaar (7 February) the violin concerto (with Renaud Capuçon), two other Beethoven symphonies, and on 23 January the complete incidental music to Egmont. Mena says he is ‘excited to be conducting some of Beethoven’s greatest works’ and describes Fidelio as ‘understandably the work that was closest to him’.
John Summers of the Hallé says the Missa Solemnis is ‘a piece we’ve always set our sights on, but one that requires amazing ability from the choir’. Under choral director Madeleine Venner the Hallé Choir is now, he adds, ‘really starting to motor’. Sir Mark Elder conducts them in Haydn’s Nelson Mass (19 February) and in a world premiere by Tarik O’Regan on 16 April (marking the half-millennium of Manchester Grammar School and including the Hallé Youth Choir and MGS Choir).
World premieres also come from the BBC Philharmonic on 17 April (David Matthews’ eighth symphony), and the Hallé on 7 May (Helen Grime’s Concerto for clarinet and trumpet).
The Hallé season includes a survey of Shostakovich concertos: the first violin concerto on 9 October (Viktoria Mullova) and no 2 on 15 January (Henning Kraggerud); the first cello concerto on 12 February (Jian Wang) and second on 19 March (Alisa Weilerstein); and the two piano concertos played by Benjamin Grosvenor in one concert on 21 May.
A BBC Philharmonic focus on British composers includes Walton (Belshazzar’s Feast under John Storgårds on 8 November), Elgar (Symphony no 2 under Juanjo Mena on 15 November), and Vaughan Williams (Symphony no 6 under Storgårds on 21 February and Job under Vassily Sinaisky on 20 March).
A focus on Nielsen has the clarinet concerto (Sabine Meyer), violin concerto (Alina Pogostkina), and flute concerto (Katherine Bryan) in the first part of the season, plus a complete symphony cycle under Storgårds in June 2015.
And four solo pianists appear on the same BBC Phil bill on 24 April ‒ Noriko Ogawa, Martin Roscoe, Kathryn Stott and Peter Donohoe in Ravel and Rachmaninov ‒ part of a Bridgewater Hall series featuring the two composers.