Royal Academy of Music at the 2019 BBC Proms

-Posted on 17.04.2019
  • Two of the world’s great conservatoires unite at the BBC Proms. Edward Gardner conducts the Royal Academy of Music and The Juilliard School Orchestra featuring the UK Premiere of Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Metacosmos alongside Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring (22 July)
  • Ryan Wigglesworth’s Knussen Chamber Orchestra makes its BBC Proms debut with an Academy-focused programme (9 September)

The BBC Proms has today announced its 2019 programme, featuring two Academy-focused concerts. The Juilliard School in New York is one of the Academy’s most prestigious collaborators and, on Monday 22 July, the conservatoire symphony orchestras unite to form a joint ensemble for that evening’s BBC Prom.

Conducted by the Academy’s Sir Charles Mackerras Chair of Conducting, Edward Gardner, the programme features the UK premiere of Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Metacosmos – premiered by the New York Philharmonic in 2018 – Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Academy Visiting Professor of Violin and Juilliard alumnus James Ehnes performing Britten’s Violin Concerto. This is the Academy-Juilliard Orchestra’s third appearance at the BBC Proms.

As part of the Academy’s commitment to preparing students for careers at the top of an ever-changing music profession, we are delighted to announce an ongoing professional partnership with the Knussen Chamber Orchestra (KCO), a new ensemble founded by the Academy’s Richard Rodney Bennett Professor of Music, Ryan Wigglesworth. For its inaugural BBC Prom at Cadogan Hall on 9 September, the KCO pays homage to Academy composers past and present. At the heart of the programme are three works by the late Oliver Knussen, the Academy’s former Richard Rodney Bennett Professor of Music: the ‘fantasia after Purcell’ …upon one note, Songs without Voices and Study for ‘Metamorphosis’. The programme also includes Visiting Professor Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s Fantasia upon all the notes, a world premiere by doctoral student Freya Waley-Cohen, and the Academy’s new Knussen Chair of Composition Hans Abrahamsen’s Herbstlied.

The Academy’s Principal, Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, said: ‘I am thrilled that this year the Academy is front and centre of two very special BBC Proms. Each year we celebrate the vast number of students, staff and alumni who perform in the BBC Proms, but 2019 is very special as we welcome back our close friends and the wonderful players of The Juilliard School for a terrific programme conducted by our Sir Charles Mackerras Chair of Conducting Edward Gardner. Following Ryan Wigglesworth’s recent appointment, we are equally delighted that his Knussen Chamber Orchestra is making its Proms debut, with Academy players and composers at its core. Fostering and nurturing international collaborations with the highest quality ensembles and world-renowned visiting professors is what makes the Academy different. We measure our success by the impact and influence of our students, and we are thrilled that we have two very significant opportunities to showcase their talent to the world.’

For full details, please visit the BBC Proms website.

Photo - © Simon Jay Price

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