The BBC SO’s season brochure has just arrived at the door. I’ve griped about the apparent ongoing demise of the orchestra’s Total Immersion days at the Barbican – days devoted to the work of a single contemporary composer through (usually) two or three concerts, some talk, a film and one or two other items. But this year I’m happy to report an upswing, with days devoted to Górecki (3 October 2015), Andriessen (13 February 2016, part of a longer series on his music running at the Barbican), and Dutilleux (30 April 2016). All three include some fantastic pieces, including three of my all-time favourites, Górecki’s Old Polish Music and Symphony no.2, and Andriessen’s De staat.
Other new music highlights of the season include a new piece by Richard Ayres (8 October), the UK premiere of Andrew Norman’s Switch (11 December), and a new piece by Joseph Phibbs (21 May), as well as works by Glanert, Hillborg, MacMillan, Dean, and others.
Three pieces by Judith Bingham (4 December) and a UK premiere for Anna Clyne’s The Seamstress (15 January) account for the living female composers in the season; there are also three short pieces by Alma Mahler on 24 September.