Conductor St_phane Denve Renews Contract with Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Classic Arts News   Conductor St_phane Denve Renews Contract with Royal Scottish National Orchestra
 
The French conductor St_phane Denve has renewed his contract as music director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra for another three years until 2011.

"I love the RSNO, I adore our audience and I feel totally at home now in Scotland," Denve said in a statement. He has reportedly turned down at least one major overseas position to remain in Glasgow.

RSNO chief executive Simon Woods told The Scotsman that it has been a "remarkable year." Audience figures have increased more than 30% this season, mostly thanks to a Denve initiative announced last April, which saw ticket prices reduced at all venues where the RSNO performs. At Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, for example, tickets in the Ô£22 bracket were reduced to Ô£16.50, while all tickets at Music Hall in Aberdeen and at the Caird Hall in Dundee, now cost a flat rate of Ô£12.50. Tickets for accompanied children under 16 are free.

A new subscription scheme was also introduced to allow customers to choose freely from among the RSNO's offerings to construct their own package.

The number of teenagers at concerts and subscriptions by older concert regulars has surged, according to The Scotsman, which quotes Woods as saying "It's not magic. It's a combination of great energy on the stage combined with really sophisticated marketing ... Two years into [Denve's] contract, the reaction has been fantastic. Audiences love him. He is very approachable as a personality but there is also an energy and passion about the music-making."

The RSNO also announced its upcoming season, which opens with the world premire of Guillaume Connesson's Aleph: Symphonic Dances. Denve continues his exploration of Mahler symphonies with Nos. 3 and 4 and, for the third consecutive year, presents music of his compatriot, Albert Roussel, with a performance of the Symphony No. 4. Other highlights include the U.K. premiere of John Corigliano's Percussion Concerto, with Evelyn Glennie as soloist.

Works pertaining to the season's dance theme include Dvoršk's Slavonic Dances, Ravel's Valses nobles et sentimentales and a performance of Ravel's complete Daphnis et Chlo_.

The soloist lineup includes Emanuel Ax playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 (the "Emperor"), Boris Berezovsky playing Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, Jonathan Biss playing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 22 (K. 482), and Louis Lortie performing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 (K. 488). Alison Balsom plays Haydn's Trumpet Concerto; Renaud Capu‹on plays Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 1, Hilary Hahn performs Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto and Nicola Benedetti performs Szymanowski's Violin Concerto No. 1.

Neeme J‹rvi, the RSNO's conductor laureate, offers the Scottish premiere of Henk de Vlieger's orchestral arrangement of Wagner's Ring cycle. Three guest conductors make RSNO d_buts: Norwegian Arild Remmereit conducts Arvo P‹rt's Festina Lente and Sibelius's Symphony No. 2; Bernard Labadie conducts Mozart's Mass in C, and Rossen Milanov (associate conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra) conducts Aaron Jay Kernis's New Era Dance.

During the 2007-08 season the RSNO's Edinburgh venue, the 93-year-old Usher Hall, will be closed for renovations; the orchestra will perform at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre during that time.


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