Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra is the resident orchestra at Colston Hall, performing a series of concerts here every year. Since its foundation in 1893 the ensemble has worked with such historic figures as Bartok, Sibelius, Holst, Stravinsky, and Vaughan-Williams, among many others. The orchestra gives over 150 performances each year, collaborating with world-class conductors and soloists keeping them at the forefront of the UK orchestral music scene.
The BSO is proud to serve the communities of South and South West England, as well as appearing on many of the world’s great stages including Carnegie Hall, New York; Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; and Musikverein, Vienna. Since the first pioneering recordings in 1914, the BSO now has over 300 recordings to its name. Releases include a critically-acclaimed collaboration with James Ehnes and the top-selling classical recording of 2012 in partnership with Nicola Benedetti.
Away from the concert hall and recording studio, the orchestra is committed to engaging new audiences through their education and community department, BSO Resonate. BSO musicians also take part in an extensive array of community outreach projects.
Michael Seal holds the position of Associate Conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), a unique appointment which recognises his work as Assistant Conductor, and the special relationship he has built with the orchestra.
His in depth knowledge of orchestras from an insider’s position (he was a violinist with the CBSO early in his career) gives him a unique perspective and he quickly builds rapport and trust with the orchestras he works with. His energy and enthusiasm are infectious and he has built a reputation for outstanding results, delivered with great charm and often on a typically British tight rehearsal schedule.
Michael has worked with many of the UK’s finest orchestras, frequently being invited as guest conductor with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestras, as well as the Academy of St.Martin in the Fields, BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra and Ulster Orchestra.
Internationally, he has conducted the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Odense Symphony Orchestra, Joensuu City Orchestra, Orquesta Académica del Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón, Orquesta Filarmónica de Buenos Aires and both RTÉ Concert and National Symphony Orchestras.
Michael has a special bond with the CBSO Youth Orchestra, conducting them on numerous occasions, and being involved with them since their foundation. He is also Artistic Advisor and Conductor for the CBSOYO Academy, a chamber orchestra formed in 2007.
His love of opera led to critically acclaimed performances of Puccini’s Il Trittico at the Birmingham Conservatoire. He has also assisted both Sakari Oramo and Andris Nelsons in opera performances of Peter Grimes, Carmen, Der Rosenkavalier, Lohengrin, Tristan & Isolde and The Flying Dutchman.
2018-19 sees return visits to CBSO, RLPO, RPO, Bournemouth Symphony, Buenos Aires Philharmonic and a debut with Orchestra of the Swan.
Established at the highest level in China, Ning Feng performs regularly in his native country with major international and local orchestras, in recital and with the Dragon Quartet which he founded in 2012. Now based in Berlin and enjoying a global career, Ning Feng has developed a reputation internationally as an artist of great lyricism and emotional transparency, displaying tremendous bravura and awe-inspiring technical accomplishment.
Recent successes for Ning Feng have included a return to Budapest Festival Orchestra with Iván Fischer in Budapest and on tour to China performing Dutilleux L’arbre des songes, and on tour with Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and van Zweden which included performances in Singapore, Seoul, Osaka, Sydney and Melbourne, following his critically-acclaimed European tour with the orchestra in 2015, as well as successful debuts with Los Angeles Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In recital and chamber music he performs regularly with Igor Levit, amongst others, in many of the major festivals in Germany and elsewhere, including Kissinger Sommer, Heidelberg, Moritzburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schubertiade and La Jolla Music Society (California).
Highlights of Ning’s 2017/18 season include debuts with City of Birmingham Symphony with Gražinytė-Tyla playing Bruch Scottish Fantasy and Brahms Violin Concerto, with Royal Scottish National Orchestra performing Korngold, with BBC Scottish Symphony performing Bernstein’s Serenade with John Wilson and with New Jersey Symphony/Slobodeniouk. Ning also returns to Bilbao Symphony Orchestra with Giancarlo Guerrero, China Philharmonic with David Stern, and Guangzhou Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic, both under the baton of Long Yu. Chamber music highlights include returns to Wigmore Hall and Schubertiade to perform the Schubert Piano Trios with Igor Levit and Daniel Müller-Schott, and two all-Schubert programmes with Nicholas Angelich and Edgar Moreau in Lucerne, as well as his debut at Moritzburg Festival and a performance at Premiere Performances Hong Kong’s 10th anniversary gala concert.
Ning Feng records for Channel Classics in the Netherlands and his latest disc, Apasionado, with Orchestra Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias and Rossen Milanov, features works by Sarasate, Lalo, Ravel and Bizet/Waxman and was released in March 2016. Two further discs are due for release in the 2017/18 season: Bach’s complete solo works for violin, and the Elgar and Finzi Violin Concertos with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic conducted by Carlos Miguel Prieto.
Born in Chengdu, China, Ning Feng studied at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music, the Hanns Eisler School of Music (Berlin) with Antje Weithaas and the Royal Academy of Music (London) with Hu Kun, where he was the first student ever to be awarded 100% for his final recital. The recipient of prizes at the Hanover International, Queen Elisabeth and Yehudi Menuhin International violin competitions, Ning Feng was First Prize winner of the 2005 Michael Hill International Violin Competition (New Zealand), and in 2006 won first prize in the International Paganini Competition.
Ning Feng plays a 1721 Stradivari violin, known as the ‘MacMillan’, on private loan, kindly arranged by Premiere Performances of Hong Kong, and plays on strings by Thomastik-Infeld, Vienna.