The BBC National Orchestra of Wales is one of the UK’s most versatile
orchestras, with a varied range of work as both a broadcast orchestra
and the National Symphony Orchestra of Wales. It performs live to tens
of thousands of people across Wales and the UK each year; and can
regularly be heard in the UK on BBC radio and television.
Generously supported by the Arts Council of Wales, BBC NOW is the
Orchestra in Residence at St David’s Hall, Cardiff, and presents a season in
Swansea. The orchestra performs a busy schedule of live concerts, touring
the length and breadth of Wales as well as appearing at venues around
the rest of the UK. Almost all its performances can be heard on the BBC,
not least through regular broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Wales
and BBC Radio Cymru.
Under its Principal Conductor Thomas Søndergård and Conductor
Laureate Tadaaki Otaka, the orchestra has won considerable acclaim
over the years. With an outstanding ability to refresh the core repertoire, it
is proud of its adventurous programming and continuously demonstrates
artistic excellence in new and rarely performed works. As part of its
commitment to contemporary music, the orchestra appointed Tommy
Andersson as composer in association for the 2014–15 season, alongside
Mark Bowden, who has been resident composer since June 2011. The
Orchestra is invited to perform at festivals throughout Wales and the UK
each year, and appears biennially at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.
It also gives several concerts annually as part of the BBC Proms, where it
is proud to represent Wales.
Learning is at the heart of the orchestra’s work, and in recent years this
has included the development of an innovative concert format designed
for audiences of adults and children who are deaf or hearing impaired;
a unique music resource-pack has been distributed to every primary
and special school in Wales. The orchestra was seen on cinema screens
Across the UK in October 2014 as part of the BBC’s landmark Ten Pieces
project to inspire children to creativity in classical music.
The orchestra’s home is BBC Hoddinott Hall, a world-class concert
hall and recording studio in the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay.
There the orchestra continues its work as the UK’s foremost soundtrack
orchestra, recording for programmes including Doctor Who (BBC Cymru
Wales), Hidden Kingdoms (BBC natural history unit) and The Crimson Field
For further information -
'Two Sibelius gems superbly played and recorded.'more >>Sinfini Music
'[Sondergard's Seventh Symphony] feels nicely organic with some delectable moments of musical blossoming, not least towards the signature trombone solo.'The Observer
'...intense and rigorous...'more >>Pizzicato
'Thomas Sondergard gives Sibelius's Second Symphony a very expressive character, while the Seventh is deeply reflective. Excellent playing by the BBC Symphony Orchestra of Wales. The recorded sound matches the excellence of the performances.'more >>Robert Music Blog
'The performance of the 2nd is sublime.'more >>The Sunday Times
'The BBC National Orchestra of Wales here shows itself to be in fine fettle, offering cogent, clear-textured performances.'more >>Politiken
'[Sondergard] livtag med Sibelius’ 2. Symfoni matcher nogle af de bedste...Kombinationen af klarhed, varme og Sibelius’ svimlende symfoniske vidder, som de langsomt samler sig i symfoniens stadig større, bjergtagende landskabsagtige panoreringer, er flot.'more >>Herald Scotland
'I can only welcome, with fast-beating heart, one of the great new Sibelian teams into the record business with the debut recording on Linn Records of Sibelius's Second and Seventh Symphonies by Thomas Sondergard and his BBC National Orchestra of Wales.'more >>ResMusica
'Thomas Søndergård impose un Sibelius direct et franc du collier, simplement musical et granitique, mais qui s'avère inspiré et sain.'more >>The Telegraph
'The BBC NOW, recorded in the warm, clear acoustics of the Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff, responds keenly to the way that Søndergård subtly controls aspects of tempo, instrumental balance and the shifting of mood to create a genuine sense of the music's organically conceived nature.'more >>AllMusic.com
'The comparatively lush orchestration of the Symphony No. 2 probably has never sounded better in any recorded format.'more >>BBC Music Magazine
'Thomas Søndergård has a deserved reputation as a fine conductor...there's also much deft and accurate detail...'more >>