Xian Zhang leads BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBC NOW) in her inaugural concert as Principal Guest Conductor later today in BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff. Zhang is the first female conductor to have a titled role with a BBC orchestra and joins BBC NOW’s artistic team alongside Principal Conductor Thomas Søndergård, Conductor Laureate Taadaki Otaka and Composer-in-Association Huw Watkins.
Zhang’s first concert in post, features Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.4 and Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto, with soloist Chloë Hanslip. Broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, the concert is part of Radio 3’s Sound Frontiers fortnight at Southbank Centre, celebrating seven decades of pioneering music and culture since the founding of the Third Programme. During the interval, as part of Radio 3’s 70th Season, Katie Derham presents more music from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, from a concert earlier this summer that opened a concert hall at the heart of Swansea University’s new Bay Campus. BBC NOW’s concert in Hafren can also be heard on BBC Radio 3 at 2pm, Friday October 7.
Further to today’s inaugural concert, Zhang will visit the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama tomorrow where some of the college’s conducting students will be given the opportunity to workshop material from the week’s concert with Zhang, as well as attending rehearsals with BBC NOW ahead of their concerts.
Zhang will also visit Hafren in Newtown on October 1, to conducts Gliere’s Concerto for Harp and Orchestra with harpist Catrin Finch, in a concert that opens the orchestra’s storytelling season with Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet and Sleeping Beauty Suite.
For further information about BBC NOW’s upcoming concerts visit bbc.co.uk/now or call the BBC NOW Audience Line on 0800 052 1812.