Rouvali, Hannigan, Eschenbach, Blomstedt and Peter Eötvös to lead a stellar lineup in Sweden

Gothenburg Symphony has announced an impressively starry line-up for the 2018-19 season. Chief conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali will steer the orchestra in the world premiere of Daníel Bjarnason’s Percussion Concerto with Martin Grubinger, Stravinsky’s recently discovered Funeral Song, and Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No 1, performed by 2018-19 artist in residence, Dutch violinist Janine Jansen.

Said Rouvali: “I can’t wait to start my second season as chief conductor. The musicians of this orchestra are so open to ideas, which means we can programme such a broad season of music for the audience – this ranges from a new percussion concerto by Daníel Bjarnason and other contemporary pieces such as Nelson’s Steampunk Blizzard to epic masterpieces such as Strauss’ Alpine Symphony and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Martin Grubinger is the soloist for the percussion concerto which we tour to the major cities in Europe and Germany in the spring of 2019, with Alice Sara Ott also performing Liszt and Grieg.”

After appearances in 2018, Christoph Eschenbach and Barbara Hannigan will join the orchestra in 2019-20 as principal guest conductor designates.

Eschenbach will conduct Bruckner’s Symphony No 3 in September 2018, and in December Hannigan will conduct three performances of Stravinsky’s opera The Rake’s Progress, directed by Linus Fellbom.

Singers for The Rake’s Progress are selected from Hannigan’s mentoring programme, Equilibrium, which works with young musicians in the first phase of their career. The concerts will be filmed and a documentary team will follow the project from start to finish.

Added Rouvali: “I am delighted that we have appointed Christoph Eschenbach and Barbara Hannigan. As chief conductor of this wonderful orchestra it is my duty to see that the orchestra develops musically as a team and I am honoured to be joined by these two wonderful musicians. They will contribute repertory and artistry that will be invaluable for the orchestra and the audience. Two different generations, two different experiences – both with a solid passion for music. These two conductors have formed a strong connection with the Gothenburg Symphony, now being confirmed with their new titles.”

Visiting conductors for 2018-19 include Herbert Blomstedt, Simone Young, Han-Na Chang, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Joana Carneiro and composer/conductor Peter Eötvös.

Guest soloists include cellist Alisa Weilerstein, violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann, pianist and conductor Christian Zacharias (plays/conducts Mozart) and pianist Alice Sara Ott. Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will also make a rare visit to Gothenburg.

“Among all the other wonderful soloists [in 2018] I will also welcome Baiba Skride to play Bernstein’s Serenade, our recording of this and the Korngold and Rosza concertos will be released on Orfeo this summer,” said the chief conductor.

The season will open on 12 September with ‘Iceland’s Glenn Gould’, pianist Víkingur Ólafsson in a programme of Stravinsky’s Movements for Piano and Orchestra, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 24, and Strauss’ Alpine Symphony.

Watch the welcome video by managing and artistic director Sten Cranner here.