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RLPO reveals busy new season of music

The RLPO has revealed a new season of greatest hits, returning favourites and new music.

Orchestra bosses unveiled its 2019/20 programme in a presentation attended by more than 1,000 people at the Philharmonic Hall.

Chief conductor Vasily Petrenko is marking his 14th – and penultimate – season with the Phil with a return for Mahler’s complete symphony cycle, which he and the orchestra last tackled a decade ago.

Then, they performed the nine works over two seasons, while this time they will be programmed over the course of 2020, starting in January.

Petrenko said: “For us there was a long-held dream to repeat the Mahler cycle. I think it works better across a short period of time. You can see the journey of Mahler’s genius.

“I’ve very big expectations for the start of this cycle…..every time you perform a work you find new horizons of excellence.”

Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason returns for 2019/20. Photo by Mark McNulty.

The new season also features a celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, with his work – including his third, fifth and ninth symphonies, and Missa Solemnis - spread across a number of concerts throughout 2020.

There is a return to Hope Street for Liverpool-born mezzo soprano Jennifer Johnston, who sang in the Spirit of Christmas concerts, and celebrated young cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who will be artists-in-residence.

Other returning faces include pianists Nobuyuki Tsujii, Kirill Gerstein and Wirral’s Stephen Hough, baritone Benjamin Appl who performed in Britten’s Wat Requiem last November, and violinists Tasmin Little and Julian Rachlin.

Jennifer Johnston at the Spirit of Christmas concert. Photo by Mark McNulty

There is also a busy programme of premieres of new works including pieces by Dani Howard, the late Andre Previn, Kenneth Hesketh, and two new trumpet concertos – by Roberto Sierra and Arturo Marquez – which will be performed by Pasco Flores during one concert on January 9.

Petrenko told the audience it was vital to perform new music, adding: “I’m always trying to encourage as many people as possible to come and hear it.

“Don’t be afraid! Feel a sense of discovery. To me it’s a privilege to be one of the first people to hear a piece.”

The season also includes Ghostbusters screened with live orchestra, Glyndebourne screenings and dementia-friendly concerts as well as a chamber music programme.

For full details, visit the website HERE

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