Breaking news: Maestro quits Manchester

Breaking news: Maestro quits Manchester


norman lebrecht

June 09, 2010

Gianandrea Noseda is stepping down after a decade as chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in Manchester.

It has been a fairly glorious time in which the Italian, a protege of Valery Gergiev’s, gave the first Beethoven cycle to be made available as a free download, pursued a strong strand of 20th century Russian music and made more than 20 commercial records for Chandos.

The orchestra showed itself to be in fine form in the Mahler cycle it shared recently with the Halle and Noseda, 46, will be wanting to devote more of his time to opera. He has been principal conductor in Turin for the past three years.

When more than a million people downloaded his interpretation of the Beethoven symphonies, I speculated in print that they might be as influential as Toscanini’s. Not for musicians, perhaps, but an awful lot of listeners around the world, from Vietnam to Mexico, have received more enlightenment from this conductor than from any other.

BBC Press release follows:




  • Italian maestro steps down after almost a decade of thrilling music making in Manchester. 
  • The season will recall the highlights of his time with the BBC Philharmonic, and close with a concert performance of Verdi’s Otello. 
  • A roster of visiting conductors including Gunther Herbig, Pablo Heras Casado and Juanjo Mena share the spotlight. 
  • Soloists appearing with the BBC Philharmonic this season include: Alison Balsom, Philippe Cassard, James Ehnes, Barbara Frittoli, Alban Gerhardt, Stephen Hough, Sergey Khachatryan, Katie van Kooten, Sabine Meyer and Steven Osborne.

The BBC Philharmonic announces its next season at The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester with the news that it will be Gianandrea Noseda’s last as Chief Conductor. 


His close association with the Orchestra will continue when he takes up the title of Conductor Laureate in September 2011, spending up to three weeks per year in Manchester.


Under his leadership the BBC Philharmonic has developed a visceral, inspirational quality in its music making, combined with careful attention to detail and overall structure. 


Gianandrea’s final season will recall some of the highlights of his tenure at the BBC Philharmonic, featuring repertoire by Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Liszt and Strauss.


His last concert as Chief Conductor will be Verdi’s tragic masterpiece, Otello.  Firmly stamping the Italian flavour on proceedings, he opens the season with the Overture from Verdi’s Forza del destino.


Noseda arrived in 2002 with an already impressive track record in interpretations of the greats of Russian music, including Shostakovich and Prokofiev. He quickly established his musical versatility, and his survey of the Beethoven Symphonies in 2005 marked him as an outstanding new talent.


His passion for opera and its impact in concert performance has produced memorable collaborations notably with the Mariinsky Theatre, and one of Europe’s premiere opera houses Teatro Regio in Turin, where he is Music Director.


His scorching performances of Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades, Strauss’ Salome and Rachmaninoff’s Francesca da Rimini will live long in the memory.


Gianandrea has produced a catalogue of 20 CDs with the BBC Philharmonic for Chandos, and his daring and imaginative interpretations have led to critical re-appraisals of music by Liszt, Rachmaninoff and Smetana.


Richard Wigley the BBC Philharmonic’s General Manager comments:  Gianandrea has forged a unique partnership with the BBC Philharmonic, and their recent defining performances of Mahler’s Sixth and Seventh symphonies are powerful proof of this. He is welcomed at the world’s finest opera houses and orchestras, and has created the same expectation of international quality for his beloved BBC Philharmonic.  His legacy of acclaimed recordings for Chandos, wonderful Proms and countless special performances here in Manchester are testament to his outstanding achievements as Chief Conductor.”  


Elsewhere in the season the BBC Philharmonic’s popular Chief Guest Conductor Vassily Sinaisky will present three concerts, starting with a Russian fest of music by Tchaikovsky and Mussorgsky, while visionary Composer/Conductor HK ‘Nali’ Gruber will perform his show-stopping work ‘Pandemonium’ Frankenstein!!  Former Principal Conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier also returns as does Günther Herbig.


Two of Spain‘s exceptional talents come back this Season.  Juanjo Mena makes his debut at The Bridgewater Hall in October, conducting Steven Osborne in Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto and Bruckner’s epic Seventh Symphony.  Pablo Heras Casado follows with the Mozart Requiem and Strauss’ Four Last Songs.


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