BBC renews conductor with five jobs

Thomas Dausgaard was given three more years today as chief conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, keeping him there to the middle of 2022.

Dausgard is, in addition, Chief Conductor of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Music Director (from next year) and Principal Guest Conductor of the Seattle Symphony, Honorary Conductor of the Orchestra della Toscana (ORT), and Honorary Conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra.


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  • Those Honorary Conductor jobs probably don’t take too much of his time – not really real jobs, just titles. So it’s really just Seattle, Sweden, and BBC. If he does 12 weeks at each, quite manageable.

    In any case, the good people of Seattle seem quite excited to have him as their new MD.

    • It is a surprise as he does not seem to be a major success with the BBC SSO. Their best period was with Volkov who still extracts great performances from them when he guest conducts and some nice moments with Runnicles also.

  • There seems to be an implied criticism in that headline. But the BBCSSO is playing superbly (best BBC orchestra at present? Discuss), performing imaginative programmes (Korngold, Langaard, Tippett, Sciarrino) to healthy audiences, is maintaining a strong recording profile and has a really impressive bench of regular guest conductors that includes Runnicles, Volkov, Brabbins, Alpesh Chauhan and John Wilson. If it ain’t broke…

        • He’s a terrific conductor. I’ve seen him at work many times in rehearsal and concert – also at first hand as he’s just done a brilliant recording of my piece’The Gokstad Ship’ with the BBC SSO for BBC Radio 3’s ‘Hear and Now’. Very impressive!

  • Heard him in Geneva last Summer with his swedish orchestra. Didn’t like it at all. Superficial. Stemme deserved a better partner in the Wesendoncks.

  • His German repertoire performances seem to lack the required Schmeckenauftrittsstuhlendenbelebenkeit that other conductors have achieved. Otherwise I think he is quite fine.

    • Clever indeed, Herr Schwa. Bravo.

      Puts me in mind of what Richard Wagner is reputed to have said about how the sound of the saxophone affected him:

      “It sounds like someone saying ‘Reckankreuzungsklankewerkzeuge’!”

  • I love Dausgaard’s performances and I think it brings the BBCSSO a prominent future.
    Looking forward to hear Bartok at city halls in Glasgow.

  • Many of the Toronto Symphony players love him. I heard a remarkable Sibelius 1 & 2 with him a few years ago. Interestingly, when I hear him in other rep, not so impressive.

    The BBC SSO and Seattle, both second tier orchestras, should be a good match.

    As for the BBC orchestras’ standards? So many fine players and conductors, and such a mediocre product, especially during the Proms.

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