Last century’s greats in BSO’s upcoming season

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Two major 20th century composers are strongly featured in the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s 2015-16 season at Portsmouth Guildhall.

Shostakovich is represented by four large-scale works in separate concerts. And the final three orchestral scores by Sibelius will be performed on one evening – five days before the 150th anniversary of his birth.

Kirill Karabits will be on the rostrum for one of the Shostakovich works – the Cello Concerto No 1 with soloist Steven Isserlis on November 13 – and for the Sibelius feast on December 3.

The programme includes a suite from the Finnish composer’s incidental music for Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest; Tapiola, a startlingly intense depiction of the Finnish forests; and the single-movement seventh symphony. Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen will maintain the Nordic theme with Grieg’s ever-popular concerto.

Music by Sibelius is also included in the season’s final concert – his Violin Concerto being played by the BSO’s new associate artist, Augustin Hadelich (April 28, 2016).

Karabits, who has signed a new rolling contract as the BSO’s principal conductor with a guarantee of at least three more seasons, points out that the Finnish composer is ‘very special’ to the BSO – ‘not only because he came here (Bournemouth) himself and we have some parts in our library with his handwriting, but because this orchestra has a long tradition of performing his music.’

The season’s other Shostakovich works are his Symphony No 11 (October 30), Violin Concerto No 1 (January 14) and Symphony No 10 (April 14) as part of an epic programme with former principal conductor Andrew Litton, also featuring Simon Trpceski in Beethoven’s Emperor concerto.

Another popular piano concerto, Rachmaninov’s No 2, is part of the season opener (October 16), and Beethoven’s No 3 will feature the return of John Lill as soloist (January 28).

Yevgeny Sudbin plays Scriabin’s concerto (February 25), with fellow-Russian Alexander Vedernikov also conducting Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz.

The BSO’s new associate young conductor, Dutchman Frank Zielhorst, offers Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade (March 11).

Last Night of the Christmas Proms (December 21) and a film-music programme called Heroes And Aliens (February 5) complete the season.

Tickets cost £29.50 to £14.75, including booking fee (concessions and multi-buy discounts available), from 0844 453 9028,