Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner

BBC Symphony Orchestra (Symphony Orchestra )

Founded: 1930 - London, England

The BBC Symphony Orchestra (= BBCSO) was founded by Adrian Boult in 1930 as London's first permanent orchestra. Since then, its impressive roll-call of Chief Conductors has included Antal Doráti, Pierre Boulez, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Sir Colin Davis and Sir John Pritchard while the Orchestra has also worked closely with a number of great composers, including Béla Bartók, Henze, Lutoslawski, Pärt, Prokofiev, Strauss and Igor Stravinsky.

A strong commitment to new music has resulted in the BBC SO giving the premieres of over 1,100 works, many of which were commissioned by the BBC and have since become established classics. As the flagship orchestra of the BBC, the BBC SO provides the backbone of the Proms, with more than a dozen appearances each summer, including the First and Last Nights. The Orchestra's schedule also includes an annual concert season at the Barbican and regional UK concerts alongside international tours and commercial recordings. Every performance, at home or abroad, is broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and can also be heard on the BBC Radio 3 website.

Since 2000 the BBC Symphony Orchestra has had its London home at the Barbican, where it holds the position of Associate Orchestra. In the same year, Leonard Slatkin became the Orchestra's eleventh Chief Conductor, succeeding Sir Andrew Davis who became its first Conductor Laureate. In another first, Mark-Anthony Turnage was appointed to the new role of Associate Composer, a position which he held until 2003.

At the start of the 2002-2003 season the BBC SO announced the appointment of highly acclaimed Finnish conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste as Prinicipal Guest Conductor, and in June 2003 John Adams was appointed to the new position of Artist in Asssociation.

The BBC SO gives a full season of concerts at the Barbican annually and every January celebrates the work of a 20th or 21st-century composer in a weekend festival; John Adams and Mark-Anthony Turnage have featured recently to great critical acclaim, and the work of that musical maverick John Cage was explored in January 2004 in a weekend of unforgettable events including an all-night piano recital in the Barbican Conservatory!

The BBC SO records for many of the major recording labels and appears regularly on television. The Orchestra's performance at Buckingham Palace as part of the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations was seen by an audience of millions around the world.

The Orchestra has a busy touring schedule, recently undertaking a tour of European cities, followed by a visit to the Bad Kissingen Festival in Germany and with a visit to South America planned for autumn 2004. In addition, the BBC SO regularly appears at international festivals including Aldeburgh, Edinburgh and Salzburg.

The BBC SO has a busy education schedule with recent projects including a week-long gamelan project at Maida Vale Studios involving pupils from pupils from a number of schools and members of the local community.

More Photos

Source: BBC Music Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (August 2004)

Recordings of Arrangements/Transcriptions of Bach’s Works




Adrian Boult


Bach-Pick-Mangiagalli: Prelude (Mvt. 1) from Partita for solo violin No. 3 in E major, BWV 1006

Andrew Davis


A. Berg: Violin Concerto ("To the memory of an angel") [w/ violinist Leonidas Kavakos]

Hermann Scherchen


A. Berg: Violin Concerto ("To the memory of an angel") [w/ violinist Max Rostal]

Leonard Slatkin


Bach-Bantock: Chorale Prelude Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645, transcribed for orchestra
Bach-Barbirolli: Aria for Soprano "Sheep May Safely Graze" (Mvt. 9) from Cantata BWV 208, transcribed for orchestra
Bach-W. Damrosch: Chorale Prelude Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott (A Mighty Fortress Is Our God), BWV 720, transcribed for orchestra
Bach-Elgar: Fantasia & Fugue in C minor, BWV 537, transcribed for orchestra, Op. 86
Bach-Gui: Chorale Prelude Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ (I), BWV 639, transcribed for orchestra
Bach-Holst: Fugue in G major ("Jig"), BWV 577, transcribed for orchestra (Fugue à la gigue)
Bach-Honegger: Prélude et Fugue of the Noces d'Amour et de Psyché, H68b
Bach-Klemperer: Aria for Soprano Bist du bei mir BWV 508, transcribed for orchestra
Bach-Leinsdorf: Chorale Prelude Herzlich tut mich verlangen, BWV 727, transcribed for orchestra
Bach-Mitropoulos: Fantasia & Fugue in G minor ("Great"), BWV 542, transcribed for orchestra
Bach-Ormandy: Chorale Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (Mvt. 10) from Cantata BWV 147, arranged for orchestra
Bach-Raff: Chaconne (Mvt. 5) from Partita for solo violin No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004, arranged for large orchestra, WoO.40
Bach-Reger: Chorale Prelude O Mensch, bewein' dein' Sünde gross, BWV 622, transcribed for orchestra
Bach-Respighi: Passacaglia & Fugue in C minor, BWV 582, arranged for orchestra, P. 159
Bach-Sargent: Air from Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068, transcribed for orchestra
Bach-Schoenberg: Prelude & Fugue in E flat major ("St. Anne"), BWV 552, arranged for orchestra
Bach-Skrowaczewski:: Toccata & Fugue in D minor, BWV 565, transcribed for orchestra
Bach-Vaughan-Williams: Chorale Prelude Wir glauben all an einen Gott (I), BWV 680, arranged for string orchestra
Bach-Wood: Suite No. 6 for orchestra, suite of transcriptions of works by J.S. Bach [18:30]

Paul Watkins


Alban Berg: Violin Concerto ("To the memory of an angel") [w/ violinist Daniel Hope]

Links to other Sites

BBC Music: BBC Symphony Orchestra (Offical Website)
Askonas Holt: BBC Symphony Orchestra
BBC Symphony Orchestra (Artist Management Company)
OrchestraNET: BBC Symphony Orchestra.
BBC Symphony Orchestra (Naxos)

BBC Symphony Orchestra (Wikipedia)Definition of BBC
Symphony Orchestra (wordIQ Dictionary)

BBC Symphony Orchestra (InformationBlast)
BBC Symphony Orchestra (encyclopedia article)
BBC Symphony Orchestra (eBroadcast)
BBC Symphony Orchestra (Information Genius)

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


Back to the Top

Last update: Sunday, May 28, 2017 16:29