BBC Symphony Orchestra

BBC Symphony Orchestra

The BBC Symphony Orchestra has played a central role at the heart of British musical life since its inception in 1930, and as the flagship orchestra of the BBC provides the backbone of the BBC Proms with at least a dozen concerts each year, including the First and Last Nights. Strongly committed to twentieth-century and contemporary music, it has given the premiere of more than 1,000 works by composers such as Bartók, Britten, Hindemith, Holst, Stravinsky and Shostakovich, and more recently has premiered BBC commissions by Simon Bainbridge, Jonathan Dove, Michael Nyman and Sir John Tavener among others. Its annual season of concerts as Associate Orchestra of the Barbican includes a weekend each January focusing upon a single composer from the twentieth or twenty-first century, most recently James MacMillan, Elliott Carter and Sofia Gubaidulina.

Jiří Bĕlohlávek took up the post of Chief Conductor in July 2006 and David Robertson was appointed Principal Guest Conductor in 2005. The BBC SO works frequently with Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis and Artist-in-Association John Adams. All concerts are broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and a number are televised, giving the BBC Symphony Orchestra the highest broadcast profile of any orchestra in the UK. The BBC SO is committed to innovative education work, with ongoing projects including the BBC SO Family Orchestra and Music Intro, introducing families to concert-going.

The BBC SO has appeared on 34 of NMC’s CDs, including the best-selling recording of Elgar’s Third Symphony.

Tamayo, Arturo


Arturo Tamayo studied music at the Conservatoire of Madrid, his home town. He simultaneously studied law at Universidad Complutense, although he ultimately left his law studies to devote himself completely to music. He graduated in composition with honours degree. He studied conducting with Pierre Boulez in Basel, Francis Travis in Freiburg and Witold Rowicki in Vienna.

Brabbins, Martyn

Artistic Director of the Cheltenham International Festival of Music 2005-2007, he was Associate Principal Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra 1994-2005. He is Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, a position which started in September 2009. After studying composition in London and then conducting with Ilya Musin in Leningrad, his career was launched when he won first prize at the 1988 Leeds Conductors' Competition. Since then Brabbins has regularly conducted all the major UK orchestras and is much sought-after in Europe, notably in Germany, Holland, Belgium and Scandinavia.   
Brabbins’ symphonic engagements have included appearances at London's  South Bank in subscription with the London Philharmonic and Philharmonia orchestras, his Tokyo debut, with the Tokyo Metropolitan (where he returns in 2011); and visits to the Netherlands Radio Chamber in the prestigious Matinee series, the Residentie Orkest, Salzburg Mozarteumorchester and Lahti Symphony.  He is a regular guest with the City of Birmingham Symphony, Halle and BBC Philharmonic orchestras, and appears several times each season with the BBC Symphony and BBC Scottish Symphony orchestras in subscription and at the BBC Proms.
  • Total duration: 26'50
  • CD | PRICE £8.99

  • MP3 | 320K 44.1 KHz
    49.4 MB
     | PRICE £6.99

  • FLAC 16 | 16bit 44.1 KHz
    111.40 MB
     | PRICE £5.99



This orchestral double-bill from Martin Butler features the glittering showpiece Fixed Doubles, inspired by Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, paired with O Rio, shaped by a Brazilian creation myth of river-dwelling spirits.


'Martin Butler is a composer of considerable virtuosity. These two big scores are bursting with brilliant life'
The Sunday Times


Produced in association with BBC Radio 3


Recording date: 3 May 1996 (O Rio), 4 July 1996 (Fixed Doubles)

Recording venue: St Augustine's Church, Kilburn, London

Engineers: Geoff Miles, Mike Hatch 
Producers: David Mottley, Colin Matthews 
Editing & mastering: Geoff Miles

Cover image: Francois Hall

(P) 1998 NMC Recordings Ltd

Oxford University Press
Catalogue number:
Release Date:
1 April 1998