Usher Hall gets ready to host Sunday Classics 2023-24 season
Mon 7 Aug Article
The Usher Hall is proud to announce the 2023-24 programme for its much-loved Sunday Classics season.
The Sunday afternoon season is renowned for bringing the finest orchestras from around the world to the Scottish capital, accompanied by exceptional soloists at the height of their talents.
Starting in September, the mighty Concerto Budapest Symphony Orchestra kicks off the 2023-24 season with a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. Brimming over with drama and emotional intensity, the symphony charts a course from darkness to a final, life-affirming glimmer of optimism.
Two weeks later the Basel Chamber Orchestra, the first orchestra to win the Swiss Music Prize in 2019, makes a triumphant return to Edinburgh. Joining them is pianist Angela Hewitt, a great favourite of the Zurich International Series’ audience, who will direct the orchestra in two concerto masterpieces - Mozart’s lyrical E-flat Piano Concerto and Bach’s pulsating D-minor Piano Concerto.
December sees a visit from the Symphony Orchestra of India, bringing with it all its renowned energy and vigour to one of the great 20th-century masterpieces by Stravinsky, Petrushka. They are joined by perhaps the greatest musician in the Indian classical tradition, the tabla player Zakir Hussain, in a work commissioned especially for this tour, his exciting Triple Concerto.
The first concert of 2024 welcomes global superstar guitarist Miloš Karadaglić and the Arcangelo Ensemble, who will treat us to a celebration of Baroque masterpieces by Vivaldi, Marcello, Bach, Pachelbel, Rameau, and Couperin. For lovers of the Baroque repertoire, this will be a very special evening featuring music recently recorded by Miloš and released by Sony later this year.
In March, the Usher Hall is joined by one of China’s most outstanding ensembles, the China Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra. They will be joined by the brilliant young violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen in two masterworks for orchestra and violin – Chausson’s Poème and Saint-Saëns’ Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso. The second half will feature two of Respighi’s monumental tone poems, Fountains of Rome and his ultimate work, Pines of Rome.
Russian-born violinst Maria Ioudenitch treats the Usher Hall to one of the most profound violin concertos composed in the 20th century, Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto, with its ravishing central passacaglia. Joined by the Dresden Philharmonic, the show will also feature one of the most poignant and tragic of all symphonies, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, the ‘Pathétique’.
Acclaimed pianist Mark Bebbington joins the Czech National Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Beethoven’s grand ‘Emperor’ Concerto and two much-loved Czech favourites – Smetana’s Bartered Bride and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7, in authentic and inimitable Czech style. The orchestra’s American music director Steven Mercurio will begin the concert with Copland’s delightful portrait of the Appalachian countryside.
Bringing the season to a triumphant close on 23 June is the Flanders Symphony Orchestra. This finale includes one of the greatest of all choral works, Mozart’s farewell to the world, his Requiem. To balance this sombre second half, the first half includes Beethoven’s sparkling Eighth Symphony. Taking part in this concert will be one of England’s historic choruses, the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, who join the Flanders Symphony Orchestra in a moving end to the Sunday Classics season.