BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Biography

This world-class orchestra has a full symphonic component of 88 members, but it began from a modest ensemble called the Cardiff Station Orchestra, which was formed in 1928. This group played from the first day BBC Radio began broadcasting in Wales until 1931, when funding problems forced its disbandment. Among the orchestra's achievements was the first British airing of all of the symphonies by Sibelius. The BBC Welsh Orchestra stepped in to fill Read more the gap in 1935. This group of 20 players, under the leadership of the BBC Wales' director of music Idris Lewis, assisted and encouraged Welsh composers by scheduling performances of their work. This ensemble was kept together until the outbreak of war in 1939. In 1946, due to the recommendations of Sir Adrian Boult, who had been touring Wales with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Welsh Orchestra, a group of 31 members, was established by the BBC and the Arts Council to perform as a national orchestra and make broadcasts on the Welsh Home Service. The orchestra quickly gained an excellent reputation for itself with performances of light music works under the conductorship of Rae Jenkins. The number of members was expanded to 44 in the 1960 - 1961 season. Under the direction of Erwin Hoffman, the BBC Welsh Orchestra gave its first performance at the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London in August, 1971, playing music by Haydn, Mozart, Stravinsky, and Brahms. In 1982, the orchestra, now consisting of 78 performers, finally received a permanent home when it moved into St. David's Hall in Cardiff. In 1987, the orchestra grew to its current size of 88 players.

The orchestra was given its current name in 1993, a title that reflects its national status. The associated chorus was also updated to become the BBC National Chorus of Wales. The current conductors of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, often referred to as the BBC NOW, are Richard Hickox, principal conductor; Joseph Swensen, principal guest conductor; and Grant Llewellyn, associate guest conductor. Michael Berkeley holds the position of composer in association. Although the orchestra has played light music and popular classical warhorses in the past, the BBC NOW encourages contemporary music by the performance and recording of the works of modern Welsh and British composers (for example, Sir Lennox Berkeley, Michael Berkeley, Edmund Rubbra, Edward Elgar, Frank Bridge, Gordon Jacob, Elgar Howarth, and others) and of music by composers of other countries (for example, Schnittke, Toru Takemitsu, Carlos Chávez, Augusta Read Thomas, Edison Denisov, Sofiya Gubaydulina, and Elena Firsova). Read less
Schnittke: Symphonies No 6 & 7 / Otaka, Bbc No Of Wales
Release Date: 03/26/1996   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 747   Number of Discs: 1
On sale! $21.99
CD: $17.99
Low Stock
MP3 Available
On sale!   $21.99   CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

Gubaidulina: Pro Et Contra;  Firsova: Cassandra / Otaka, Bbc
Release Date: 10/14/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 668   Number of Discs: 1
On sale! $21.99
CD: $17.99
Low Stock
MP3 Available
On sale!   $21.99   CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

Lutoslawski: Symphony No 3, Etc / Otaka, Bbc No Of Wales
Release Date: 02/20/1996   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 743   Number of Discs: 1
On sale! $21.99
CD: $17.99
In Stock
On sale!   $21.99   CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

Glazunov: Symphony No 3, Ballade / Otaka, Bbc Wales Nso
Release Date: 01/28/2003   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1358   Number of Discs: 1
On sale! $21.99
CD: $17.99
In Stock
MP3 Available
On sale!   $21.99   CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

Glazunov: Complete Symphonies Vol 1 / Otaka, Bbc Wales Nso
Release Date: 04/16/2002   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1308   Number of Discs: 1
On sale! $21.99
CD: $17.99
In Stock
MP3 Available
On sale!   $21.99   CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

There are 95 BBC National Orchestra of Wales recordings available.

Select a specific Composer, Conductor or Label or browse recordings by Formats & Featured below

or