BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1935 by Scottish composer and conductor Ian Whyte, the BBC SSO’s repertoire ranges from highly complex modern scores to the classics, from music by Scottish composers to film and TV scores. Its concert performances and recordings are broadcast exclusively on BBC Radio and television. Its innovative programmes and acclaimed recordings have made it the recipient of numerous awards, including two Gramophone Awards (including NMC D141) and a Grammy nomination. The Royal Philharmonic Society presented the BBC SSO with its award for Best Orchestra in 2002, and its Chief Conductor, Ilan Volkov with the prize for Best Young Artist in 2004.
The BBC SSO is especially active in commissioning and promoting new music, having worked with many leading composers over the years from Britten and Shostakovich to Kurtág and Tan Dun: it is especially proud of its support for Scottish composers – including Stuart MacRae, whose music the orchestra has recorded to great acclaim for NMC (on NMC D115).
The BBC SSO regularly tours Europe, and in recent years has visited China, the USA and South America. It appears annually at the BBC Proms and Edinburgh International Festival, and is in demand at festivals including Cheltenham, Huddersfield and St. Magnus in Orkney. The orchestra takes live music to towns and cities across Scotland every season, and is increasingly involved in the community, with its learning programme, dedicated to bringing the inspiration of great music to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Volkov, Ilan

Volkov first conducted the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (BBC SSO) in 1998. He becamse Chief Conductor of the BBC SSO in January 2003, the youngest chief conductor appointed to a BBC orchestra at the time. He was named the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Musician of the Year in 2004, in recognition of his work with the BBC SSO. In September 2007, the orchestra announced Volkov's departure from the BBC SSO chief conductorship in September 2009. In December 2008, the BBC SSO announced the appointment of Volkov as its principal guest conductor, to commence after the conclusion of his tenure as chief conductor, for an initial contract of 3 years with 4 weeks of scheduled guest-conducting appearances. In January 2011, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra named Volkov as its 9th chief conductor and music director, effective with the 2011-2012 season, with an initial contract of 3 years. His initial contract was for 3 years, with 6 weeks of scheduled appearances in his first season and 9 weeks of concerts in subsequent seasons. Volkov concluded his tenure with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in August 2014, following the orchestra's debut at The Proms.

Komsi, Anu

Anu Komsi continues to be praised for her versatile musicianship and her dynamic coloratura voice. She began her musical education in Kokkola, Finland, where she played both flute and violin in the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra. Equally at home on both opera and concert stages, she has appeared regularly all over Europe and in the United States. She is a versatile recitalist and chamber musician with a repertoire ranging from Renaissance to contemporary music. New York Magazine described her as being a “Pyrotechnic Grace” on the stage when she performed John Zorn´s Machine de Léttre in the New York City Opera.
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Featuring works from Jonathan Harvey’s highly successful residency with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, this disc explore his fascination with Eastern philosophies - from the ecstatic Indian text of White as Jasmine, meditative Tranquil Abiding and ...towards a Pure Land, to the raucous Tibetan brass and percussion of Body Mandala. The disc is completed by Timepieces, Harvey's early work for orchestra with two conductors.



'Four of the five pieces in this impressive selection of Jonathan Harvey's orchestral pieces deal in different ways with Harvey's deep fascination with eastern religions... All are striking, beautifully achieved pieces.' Guardian



Produced in association with BBC Radio 3


Jonathan Harvey’s music is published by Faber Music.






This disc was recorded at City Halls, Glasgow: White as Jasmine and …towards a Pure Land were recorded on 1 February 2007, Body Mandala and Tranquil Abiding on 3 May 2007, and Timepieces on 4 May 2007.

Engineer and digital editing: GRAEME TAYLOR
Producer: SIMON LORD
Executive Producer: COLIN MATTHEWS

Cover image: Tung-chen players at Kirimtse Monastery, Tibet. FOSCO MARAINI / Property Gabinetto Vieusseux © Alinari Archives-Florence

(P) 2008 NMC Recordings Ltd.

Faber Music
Catalogue number:
NMC D141
Release Date:
7 April 2008