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.

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A complex and intense score inspired by the 17th-century tradition of still-life 'vanitas' painting, Vanity explores the meaning of life through three linked movements.


'This CD single presents the biggest work to date by a little-known but conspicuously talented composer... The structure as well as the sound world of Vanity is as bold as it is original. A remarkable work.'  The Sunday Times


'The recorded sound is of exemplary clarity, with even the most fragile sound-events captured perfectly. One cannot imagine the recorded performance being readily bettered or the work's labyrinth of textures projected with greater conviction than they are here'  Julian Anderson, composer


Produced in association with BBC Radio 3


Recording date: 2 May 1995

Engineer: Geoff Miles 
Producer: David Mottley 
Editing & mastering: Geoff Miles

Cover image: Francois Hall

(P) 1996 NMC Recordings Ltd

United Music Publishers
Catalogue number:
Release Date:
1 April 1996