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Oliver Knussen becomes BBC Symphony Orchestra’s new Artist in Association

Oliver Knussen
Oliver Knussen, widely regarded internationally as one of Britain’s most outstanding composers and conductors, is to become the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s new Artist in Association.

The arrangement begins in July 2009 and continues for three years through his sixtieth birthday year in 2012. He will conduct at least three concerts a year with the BBC Symphony Orchestra across both its Proms and Barbican seasons, and will plan a series of broadcast concerts at the BBC’s Maida Vale studios for BBC Radio 3.

Knussen already has a long-standing, productive and mutually affectionate relationship with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. It started 30 years ago when they worked together on the world premiere of his Third Symphony for the BBC Proms in 1979. He first conducted the Orchestra in 1981 and has continued working with it regularly, including other world premieres such as Songs and a Sea Interlude from Where the Wild Things Are and his Whitman Settings for soprano and orchestra.

Oliver Knussen says:
“Many concerts and recordings made together with the members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra in recent years represent a collaboration which has become unusually close and which has meant a great deal to me personally. It is an honour for me to accept this position with an orchestra which I regard as a musical national treasure.”

Paul Hughes, General Manager of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, says:
“Oliver Knussen is unique. As one of the finest composers and conductors working today he holds a special place in the history and heart of the BBCSO and it is with the greatest of pleasure that we deepen and strengthen this long-standing relationship when Olly becomes the orchestra’s second Artist in Association.”

Knussen takes up the role as Artist in Association from American composer and conductor John Adams who became the Orchestra’s first Artist in Association in 2003. He joins a strong team of musicians at the helm of the BBC Symphony Orchestra which includes Principal Conductor Jiří Bělohlávek, Principal Guest Conductor David Robertson and Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis.

Biography of Oliver Knussen

Press release

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