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.

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One of two releases to mark the centenary of Michael Tippett in 2005, this disc was the composer's last recording, and his only commercial one of any of his Symphonies. Originally issued with BBC Music Magazine in 1995, the booklet features a memoir of the sessions by producer Martin Cotton.


'It richly deserves bringing into general circulation ... These are rich, glowing, utterly convincing performances. As for No.2..., this is the performance - the one performance - in which its fresco-like single movement makes something like complete sense.'
BBC Music Magazine


Produced in association with BBC Radio 3


Recording date: 10-11 and 29  March 1993

Recording venue: All Hallows Church, Gospel Oak, London

Engineer: Neil Pemberton 
Producer: Martin Cotton 
Editing & mastering: David Lefeber

Cover image: Alex von Koettlitz

(P) 1995 BBC

Schott Music
Catalogue number:
NMC D104
Release Date:
1 January 2005