9. Symphony Concert

Semyon Bychkov Dirigent
London Voices Gesang

Luciano Berio

  • »Sinfonia« für 8 Singstimmen und Orchester

Pjotr I. Tchaikovsky

  • Symphony No. 5 in e minor, Opus 64

Traces of sound

Lively impressions expressed in musical form: The whirling and undulations of the waltz give way to the roaring waves of a shimmering seascape. Ravel and Debussy, two masters of French Impressionism, set their material aflame with a white heat. By contrast, in his Fourth Symphony, entitled »Los Angeles«, Arvo Pärt conjures up a spiritual force emerging from the depths of an old Russian Orthodox chorale about aguardian angel. 

Expected running time incl. intermission: 100 min.

  • 14.04.2018
    20:00 Uhr
    Ticket price:
    67.00 – 82.00 €
  • 15.04.2018
    11:00 Uhr
  • 16.04.2018
    20:00 Uhr
    Ticket price:
    23.00 – 67.00 €

Semyon Bychkov

Newly appointed as Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, Semyon Bychkov will assume the title at the beginning of the 2018/19 season. Born in St Petersburg in 1952, Bychkov emigrated to the United States in 1975 and has been based in Europe since the mid-1980s. In common with the Orchestra, Bychkov has one foot firmly in the cultures both of the East and the West.

Conducting the Czech Philharmonic for the opening of the Smetana Litomyšl Festival 2017, Hospodářské noviny wrote of the performance of Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini: “the Czech Philharmonic is currently on excellent form and trusts Semyon Bychkov. And, being battle-hardened from working around the world with the best orchestras on the planet, he gives the Philharmonic players the room to develop their musical potential. The result is a unique musical creation.”

Following his early concerts with the Czech Philharmonic in 2013, Bychkov and the Orchestra devised The Tchaikovsky Project, a series of concerts, residencies and studio recordings which allowed them the luxury of exploring Tchaikovsky’s music together, both in Prague’s Rudolfinum and abroad. The first fruit of The Tchaikovsky Project – a recording of Symphony No. 6 coupled with the Romeo & Juliet Fantasy-Overture – was released by Decca in October 2016, and was followed in August 2017 by the release of the Manfred Symphony. The Tchaikovsky Project culminates in 2019 with residencies in Vienna and Paris, and Decca’s release of all Tchaikovsky’s symphonies, the three piano concertos, Romeo & Juliet, Serenade for Strings and Francesca da Rimini.


Semyon Bychkov won the Rachmaninov Conducting Competition when he was 20 years old. Two years later, having been denied his prize of conducting the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, he left the former Soviet Union where, aged five, he was singled out for an extraordinarily privileged education in music. Initially studying piano, Bychkov was later selected to study at the Glinka Choir School where he received his first conducting lesson aged 13. Four years later he was accepted at the Leningrad Conservatory as a student of the legendary Ilya Musin.


By the time Bychkov returned to St Petersburg in 1989 as the Philharmonic’s Principal Guest Conductor, he had enjoyed success in the US as Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra and the Buffalo Philharmonic. His international career, which began in France with Opéra de Lyon and at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, had taken off when a series of high-profile cancellations resulted in invitations to conduct the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestras. In 1989, he was named Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris; in 1997, Chief Conductor of the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne; and, the following year, Chief Conductor of the Dresden Semperoper.
Bychkov’s repertoire is wide-ranging both in the concert hall and in the opera house. He conducts in all the major houses including La Scala, Opéra national de Paris, Dresden Semperoper, Wiener Staatsoper, New York’s Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Teatro Real. Madrid. While Principal Guest

Conductor of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, his productions of Janáček’s Jenufa, Schubert’s Fierrabras, Puccini’s La bohème, Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov were awarded the prestigious Premio Abbiati. He recently conducted Wagner’s Parsifal at the Wiener Staatsoper, and will return in 2018 with the same opera. Other new productions in Vienna include Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier and Daphne, Wagner’s Lohengrin and Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina; while in London, he made his debut with a new production of Strauss’ Elektra, and subsequently conducted new productions of Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten and Wagner’s Tannhauser.

On the concert platform, the combination of innate musicality and rigorous Russian pedagogy has ensured that Bychkov’s performances are highly anticipated. In the UK, in addition to regular performances with the London Symphony Orchestra, his honorary titles at the Royal Academy of Music and the BBC Symphony Orchestra – with whom he appears annually at the BBC Proms – reflect the warmth of the relationships. In Europe, he tours frequently with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic and Munich Philharmonic, as well as being an annual guest of the Berlin Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Orchestre National de France, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia; in the US, he can be heard with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Symphony, Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras.

Recognised for his interpretations of the core repertoire, Bychkov has worked closely with many extraordinary contemporary composers including Luciano Berio, Henri Dutilleux and Maurizio Kagel. In recent seasons he has worked closely with Renée Staar, Thomas Larcher, Richard Dubignon, Detlev Glanert and Julian Anderson, conducting premières of their works with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw and BBC Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms.

Bychkov’s recording career began in 1986 when he signed with Philips and began a significant collaboration which produced an extensive discography with the Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio, Royal Concertgebouw, Philharmonia, London Philharmonic and Orchestre de Paris. Subsequently a series of benchmark recordings – the result of his 13-year collaboration (1997-2010) with WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne – include a complete cycle of Brahms Symphonies, and works by Strauss (Elektra, Daphne, Ein Heldenleben, Metamorphosen, Alpensinfonie, Till Eulenspiegel), Mahler (Symphony No. 3, Das Lied von der Erde), Shostakovich (Symphony Nos. 4, 7, 8, 10, 11), Rachmaninov (The Bells, Symphonic Dances, Symphony No. 2), Verdi (Requiem), Detlev Glanert and York Höller. His recording of Wagner’s Lohengrin was voted BBC Music Magazine’s Disc of the Year in 2010; his recording of César Franck’s Symphony in D minor as BBC Radio 3 Record Review’s Building a Library Recommended Recording; and his recent recording of Schmidt’s Symphony No. 2 with the Vienna Philharmonic was selected as BBC Music Magazine’s Record of the Month.

London Voices

Das britische, aus London stammende Chorensemble London Voices hat bisher an über zweihundert Plattenaufnahmen teilgenommen. Sein breites Repertoire reicht dabei von eher populären Alben mit Nigel Kennedy, Bryn Terfel und Luciano Pavarotti bis hin zu Aufnahmen mit Werken der Neuen Musik und Avantgarde; hier sind es insbesondere Komponisten wie John Adams, György Ligeti und Luciano Berio, die von London Voices interpretiert wurden.

London Voices hat auch in zahlreichen Soundtracks von Filmen mitgewirkt, so in sämtlichen »Harry Potter«- und »Star Wars«-Folgen. Das Ensemble wurde gegründet von Terry Edwards, einem der erfahrensten und angesehensten Chorleiter und Chordirigenten Europas. Er dirigierte London Voices z. B. in allen der vielen Chorsektionen der »Herr der Ringe«-Trilogie. Terry Edwards und London Voices arbeiten mit vielen wichtigen Orchesterleitern und Dirigenten zusammen, u.a. mit Christoph von Dohnanyi, Bernard Haitink, Sir Simon Rattle und Peter Eötvös.

London Voices werden geleitet von Terry Edwards (ehemaliger Chordirektor der Royal Opera) und Ben Parry (Komponist und künstlerischer Leiter des National Youth Choirs

Großbritanniens). Die Anzahl der Mitglieder ist nicht festgelegt, die Choristen werden für jedes einzelne Engagement und Projekt ausgewählt. So sind für John Adams‘ »Grand Pianola Music« drei Stimmen gefordert, bei Steve Reichs »Tehillim« vier, bei Karlheinz Stockhausens »Stimmung« sechs, bei Igor Strawinskys »Rake’s Progress« vierzig, bei György Ligetis Requiem 120 und bei »La damnation de Faust« von Hector Berlioz 150 Stimmen. Es ist zudem nicht unüblich, dass zwei Gruppen des Ensembles gleichzeitig in verschiedenen Städten oder Ländern auftreten.

Zu den jüngsten herausragenden Projekten zählen u.a. Beethovens »Fidelio« in der Londoner Royal Festival Hall unter der Leitung von Vladimir Jurowski im Januar 2017 mit dem London Philharmonic Orchestra sowie Luciano Berios »Sinfonia« mit dem Orchestre de Paris unter der Stabführung von Daniel Harding im November 2017. Die London Voices werden Berios »Sinfonia« zudem in Kürze am 21. und 22. April 2018 mit den Münchner Philharmonikern unter Leitung von Semyon Bychkov zur Aufführung bringen.