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.
Andrew Litton, Music Director of the New York City Ballet, also is Artistic Director of Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest, Principal Guest Conductor of the Colorado Symphony, Conductor Laureate of Britain’s Bournemouth Symphony, Music Director Laureate of Norway’s Bergen Philharmonic, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. Litton led the Dallas Symphony as Music Director from 1994 to 2006, leaving a legacy of touring including Carnegie Hall, the BBC Proms, the Berlin Philharmonie, and Vienna’s Musicverein. His Dallas Symphony series of young people’s Amazing Musicvideo recordings is in use throughout schools in the United States and abroad. He regularly guest conducts leading orchestras and opera companies around the globe and adds to his discography of almost 130 recordings, which have garnered America’s Grammy Award, France’s Diapason d’Or and other honors.
Litton’s guest appearances last season included the Netherlands Philharmonic at the Concertgebouw, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia of Spain, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and the Singapore Symphony.
An avid opera conductor with a keen theatrical sense, Litton has led major opera companies throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, and Deutsche Oper Berlin. In Norway, he was key to founding the Bergen National Opera, which he led in critically acclaimed performances of Tosca, Carmen, The Flying Dutchman, and La Bohème. Litton often conducts semi-staged opera programs with symphony orchestras who enjoy the change of repertoire. He always concludes the Minnesota Orchestra Sommerfest with a sold-out Opera performance — this season Strauss’ Salome.
Litton’s work with New York City Ballet has earned praise from critics, dancers, and audiences, bringing new prominence to the Ballet’s Orchestra. Litton’s first work in ballet began while he was still a Juilliard student, performing as on-stage pianist for Rudolf Nureyev, Natalia Makarova, and Cynthia Gregory. An accomplished pianist, Litton often performs as piano soloist, conducting from the keyboard. He participates with orchestra colleagues throughout the world in chamber music concerts.
Litton, an acknowledged expert on George Gershwin, has performed and recorded Gershwin widely as both pianist and conductor and serves as Advisor to the University of Michigan Gershwin Archives. After leading the Covent Garden debut of Porgy and Bess, he arranged his own concert suite of that work, which is now performed around the world. In 2014 he released his first solo piano album, A Tribute to Oscar Peterson, testimony to his passion for jazz, particularly the music of that great pianist.
Born in New York City, Litton is a graduate of New York’s Fieldston School. Litton earned degrees from the Juilliard School in piano and conducting. He served as assistant conductor at La Scala and at the National Symphony under Rostropovich. Among his numerous awards are Yale’s Sanford Medal, the Elgar Society Medal, and an honorary Doctorate from the University of Bournemouth. For his work with the Bergen Philharmonic, Norway’s King Harald V knighted Litton with the Norwegian Royal Order of Merit.
Barry Douglas has established a major international career since winning the Gold Medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, Moscow. As Artistic Director of Camerata Ireland and the Clandeboye Festival, he continues to celebrate his Irish heritage whilst also maintaining a busy international touring schedule.
Barry has recently embarked on a monumental recording project with Chandos Records – to record the complete works for solo piano of Brahms and Schubert within five years. Having developed a wealth of musical experience in his 35 year career, Barry now feels the time is right to undertake this colossal project. The first disc of works by Brahms was released to critical acclaim in March 2012. The interesting programming of each disc, which has already garnered much critical praise, presents each album as a stand-alone recital, providing a varied and engaging listening experience.
Barry Douglas received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2002 New Year’s Honours List for services to music.