Thomas Søndergård

Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård is Principal Conductor of BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBCNOW) and Principal Guest Conductor of Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO); prior to this, he was for three seasons Principal Conductor and Musical Advisor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra. He has recently been announced as Music Director of Royal Scottish National Orchestra from September 2018.

Recent seasons have included visits to London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Göteborgs Symfoniker, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Bamberger Symphoniker; leading tours with Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and European Union Youth Orchestra; Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Brussels Philharmonic; Sveriges Radios Symfoniorkester, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Orchestre National d’Ile de France; Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony and Seattle Symphony Orchestra. With RSNO, recent highlights include performances of Sibelius’ Violin Concerto with Janine Jansen and with BBC NOW, the complete Stravinsky The Firebird, recordings and touring.

Plans for 2017/18 include debuts with Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Bern Symphony Orchestra, Gurzenich-Orchester Köln, SWR Baden-Baden, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg and return visits to Sydney Symphony Orchestra (Mahler Symphony No. 1), BBC Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (Stravinsky’s Firebird), Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and the revival of The Magic Flute with Norske Opera. With RSNO he conducts performances of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben and for the RSNO Piano Competition. Plans with BBC NOW include a programme with highly acclaimed pianist Stephen Hough and performances of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 12 and Sibelius Symphony No. 5.

A passionate supporter of the music of Carl Nielsen, his most recent programme with Sveriges Radios Symfoniorkester (Symphony No. 5) received wide praise as “equal of the great pioneers of Nielsen interpretation… It’s harder to imagine a finer performance of this remarkable symphony” (Dagens Nyheter).As part of the 2015 anniversary celebrations of both Sibelius and Nielsen he conducted a wide variety of works by these two composers with many leading orchestras.

Thomas is also an experienced opera conductor at home in mainstream and contemporary repertoire.  Recent seasons have included Bayerische Staatsoper (Turandot), Deutsche Oper Berlin (world premiere of Scartazzini’s Edward II) Royal Danish Opera (Il viaggio a Reims), and Tosca, Turandot (Nina Stemme) and Les dialogues des Carmelites for Kungliga Operan (Royal Swedish Opera). He was described as “a sensation” at his debut with the Royal Danish Opera conducting Ruders' opera Kafka's Trial: "He is one of the best things that has happened to the art of opera for many years" and subsequent productions there have included Il barbiere di Siviglia, Le Nozze di Figaro, La bohème and Cunning Little Vixen. He made his Norske Opera debut with their new, highly-successful Die Zauberflöte.

In Spring 2015 Thomas and BBCNOW released their first commercial recording of Sibelius Symphonies Nos. 2 and 7 (LINN Records), followed recently by Sibelius Symphonies Nos. 1 and 6, which has received very positive reviews, including from BBC Radio Scotland 'Classics Unwrapped’: “His attention to detail, the atmospheres of the pieces have all been beautifully crafted.” Other noteworthy recordings include Vilde Frang's celebrated first recording for EMI, and Ruders’ Piano Concerto No. 2 on Bridge Records which was nominated for a Gramophone Award in 2011. Admired for his interpretations of Scandinavian contemporary repertoire, his discography also includes a number of other contemporary works. In 2011 he was awarded the prestigious Queen Ingrid Foundation Prize for services to Music in Denmark.

 

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