Audiences can experience the live performances by digital subscription, which will be available for individual concerts or season bundle. Performances will be open to attend when the government moves to Stage Four of the roadmap for the performing arts; which is expected to enable limited capacity in the hall.
Chief Conductor Kirill Karabits will open the series of 12 socially distanced performances.
The return to the stage will enable the orchestra to not only provide live performances, but also record rehearsal material for its community choir, BSO Voices, create further educational material for schoolchildren throughout the South West, and musical content for use in a range of healthcare settings.
The performances of around one hour will run without interval and have been planned in close partnership with Lighthouse, Poole and following guidance from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
The safety of the orchestra’s musicians, guest artists, audiences and staff remain its prime focus. Players will be socially distant – spaced from choir stalls to stage extensions being specially produced by Bournemouth-based specialist firm – and will perform with only one musician per stand, with schedules adapted to reduce time backstage.
BSO Chief Executive, Dougie Scarfe, says, “After the longest period away from the stage in our 127-year-history, we’re pleased to announce the start of the orchestra’s return to live performances for our loyal audiences in the South West. The outpouring of support for our work has further reinforced our belief in the power of music to transform and empower lives – and it’s needed now more than ever. As we look to the future I’m also thrilled that we’ve been able to confirm two major commissions: by Franghiz Ali-Zadeh and Shirley J Thompson. With two of the UK’s leading pianists and a clutch of the finest conductors around we can’t wait to bring these concerts to the stage; as well as showcasing our brilliant musicians we’re also proud to continue to bring new and lesser-known music to inspire audiences.
“It’s taken meticulous planning to present these programmes in the safest way possible for audiences, musicians and staff. As a touring ensemble, embedded in communities throughout a vast region we can’t wait to get back on the road and we hope to announce further performance dates as guidance evolves.”
The orchestra has been based at Lighthouse, Poole since 1979: it rehearses and performs each of its main season programmes at the venue, performing around 40 concerts in its concert hall each year. The venue recently received an emergency grant from Arts Council England, providing a temporary lifeline for cultural provision in the area.
Elspeth McBain, the venue’s Chief Executive, said of the orchestra’s autumn series, “It’s been a long time coming but we are so pleased that we are able to reopen Lighthouse Poole in September and that our partner and resident orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, will be able to rehearse and perform an outstanding season of live performances that will be widely available through digital live streaming and, when possible, to live audiences. This is the first stage in our recovery since enforced closure in March and it is fitting that the first artists to be welcomed back in are our BSO musicians.”
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