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Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

On May 22 1893, a young Dan Godfrey lifted his baton for the first time and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra was born. In the 120 years that have since passed, the BSO has worked with some of the greatest names in classical music, toured the world and inspired generations of music makers and music lovers.

From humble beginnings in Bournemouth’s Winter Gardens, Sir Dan laid the foundations for decades of musical success and innovation. Collaborations with composers including Holst and Vaughan Williams followed, as did appearances on the podium by Elgar, Sibelius and Stravinsky among many others. A legacy of groundbreaking recordingsbegan in 1914 and BBC radio broadcasts were first made in 1923.

Under the guidance of esteemed Principal Conductors including Rudolf Schwarz, Charles Groves, Constantin Silvestri and Paavo Berglund the Orchestra became increasingly musically adventurous while performing ever more throughout the South and South West. International tours followed from 1965, and lasting acclaim from Berglund’s legendary Sibelius recordings.

Americans Andrew Litton and Marin Alsop – the first female Principal Conductor of a British orchestra – brought a new artistic flavour to the Orchestra, and with it a Grammy Award winning recording together with performances on some of the iconic stages of the world. As the BSO celebrates its 120th anniversary, current Chief Conductor Kirill Karabitswas awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Conductor Award for his work with the BSO throughout its home region and beyond.

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