The BBC Philharmonic’s 2017-18 season is rich in world and UK premieres, and one such work forms both the centrepiece and the likely highlight of tonight’s concert. Even by contemporary music standards, German composer Wolfgang Rihm is a true maverick – endlessly creative, absurdly prolific, tirelessly determined not to limit himself to a single musical voice across a career now into its fifth decade. In 2013-14, Rihm wrote a Horn Concerto especially for Stefan Dohr, who works double-time as the principal horn of the Berlin Philharmonic and a soloist specialising in challenging new music – and it’s Dohr who’ll be delivering the UK premiere at The Bridgewater Hall tonight, conducted by Ben Gernon. In a nod to the nationalities of both Rihm and Dohr, the remainder of tonight’s programme comes from German composers: Wagner’s moving overture to his early opera Rienzi; Weber’s Invitation to the Dance, orchestrated by Berlioz (a Frenchman); and Beethoven’s impassioned Seventh Symphony, which the composer ranked among his best work.
Ben Gernon – Conductor
Stefan Dohr – Horn