Mark Wigglesworth to be BSO’s new chief conductor

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Chloé van Soeterstède with Mark Wigglesworth
Photo by Mark Allan

The distinguished conductor Mark Wigglesworth has been announced as the new chief conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
He will take up the role at the start of the orchestra’s 2024-25 season in September, when Kirill Karabits, the BSO’s inspiring Ukrainian-born chief conductor for the past 15 years, becomes Conductor Laureate and artistic director of the Voices from the East programme
Wigglesworth, who has been the BSO’s principal guest conductor since 2021, is one of the world’s leading conductors, recognised for his outstanding musicianship, extraordinary interpretations and breadth of repertoire.
He has worked with the Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony, New York Philharmonic and Royal Concertgebouw orchestras and performed at the world’s most prestigious opera houses.
He will be the first British conductor to hold the BSO post in more than 60 years, and he is expected to conduct five weeks in his first season, increasing to nine weeks from 2025/26.
He says: “The BSO embraces the role of a 21st century orchestra with talent, experience, passion and care. The commitment the entire organisation shows to the many thousands of music lovers across the South West of England is inspirational and I am extremely excited to be joining them at a time when classical music’s undeniable force for good has never been more vital to the quality of our communities.”

An exciting journey
The new principal guest conductor will be Chloé van Soeterstède. The announcement follows her recent guest appearances, where she has won praise from the BSO’s musicians and audiences alike. She was appointed the Taki Alsop Fellow 2019-21 by former BSO principal conductor Marin Alsop and was a Dudamel Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in its 2021-22 season. She trained as a viola player before turning to conducting, and is a passionate advocate for music education.
Matt King, the BSO’s principal percussion and musician trustee, says: “Concerts with Mark are a highlight in the schedule, and we’re delighted at his appointment as chief conductor. We have enjoyed a broad mix of repertoire together in recent years, with music from Mahler and Mozart to Sibelius, Shostakovich, and Wagner – it will be exciting to continue this journey. Chloé has been a real revelation and brings energy and fresh insight to the podium; we are looking forward to the next few years together.”
BSO chief executive Dougie Scarfe says: “We’re excited to share the truly world-class live performances that both Mark and Chloé will undoubtably bring to people throughout the South West over the coming years. Life-empowering live music is at the core of what we do, and we’re thrilled Mark and Chloé share our vision for how an orchestra can proudly serve communities in and beyond the concert hall.”
bsolive.com

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