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Orchestra of the Swan is known for its fresh, accessible interpretations of classical repertoire as well as an active commissioning programme. They perform in a subscription series in Stratford & Birmingham and work with numerous promoters and festivals
David Curtis: Artistic Director & Principal Conductor
Kenneth Woods: Principal Guest Conductor
Julian Lloyd Webber: Honorary Council President
“you won’t hear much better than this anywhere” Classic Fm Magazine
“a vivid sense of an excellent, up-for-it orchestra and conductor” BBC Music Magazine
“a virtuoso finale for the excellent British orchestra, a luminous interpretive vision. Never has the outline of Schumann’s composition been clearer. Woods shapes exemplary phrasing from Orchestra of the Swan; a new lease on life for a familiar masterwork”. Indianapolis Star
Orchestra of the Swan is resident at the Civic Hall in Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, Associate Ensemble at Town Hall, Birmingham and has other residencies and concert series at Cadogan Hall London, Bedworth Civic Hall and Loughborough Town Hall. OOTS’ Associate Artists have been Tasmin Little, Julian Lloyd Webber and for 2011-12 the outstanding young pianist Benjamin Grosvenor.
The Orchestra has recently won a highly prestigious award from the Royal Philharmonic Society to appoint Huw Watkins as OOTS’ ‘Composer in the House’ from 2012-14. Previous recipients of this major award were the Bournemouth Symphony and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.
“this spirited performance” Financial Times
“a brilliant performance” Daily Telegraph
OOTS performs at major concert venues and festivals throughout England and Wales including Symphony Hall Birmingham, Warwick Arts Centre, St John's Smith Square, Three Choirs, Lichfield and Deal Festivals. In 2011-12 OOTS joins the Indie band “James” for a UK wide sell-out tour performing in St David’s Hall Cardiff, Symphony Hall Birmingham, Royal Concert Hall Nottingham, Bridgewater Hall, The Sage, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and the Royal Albert Hall.
“a disc almost overstuffed with good things, played with great razzle-dazzle by Orchestra of the Swan” Norman Lebrecht
Performances receive widespread critical acclaim and appear as Pick of the Week in The Guardian and Daily Telegraph. OOTS is a major champion of new music and Spring Sounds 2011 included 4 world premieres, 2 recordings, visiting composers, soloists and conductors from the USA and a joint commission with the American Composers’ Orchestra.
“These are precious gems and Orchestra of the Swan makes fine work under the able leadership of David Curtis” Fanfare Magazine, USA
Previously the orchestra has commissioned work from Joe Cutler, Tansy Davies, Joe Duddell, Alexander Goehr, John Joubert, Joanna Lee, Roxanna Panufnik, Paul Patterson, Joseph Phibbs, Julian Philips, Dobrinka Tabakova, Param Vir, Errollyn Wallen, Shu Wang, John Woolrich and many others.
“An ebullient and invaluable disc” The Gramophone
Orchestra of the Swan recorded the world premiere of the Bax Piano concertino and other recordings include Mozart piano concertos, orchestral and vocal works by Copland and Samuel Barber, chamber ensemble versions of Mahler’s Symphony no 4, Das Lied von der Erde and the Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, the world premiere recording of David Mathews’ chamber arrangement of Berlioz’ Nuits d’ete and recordings of all four symphonies by Hans Gal and Robert Schumann.
“I wrote about Orchestra of the Swan’s superb recording now here they are again with a fabulous, dark version of Mahler’s Wayfarer Songs and an enthralling Song of the Earth.” Glasgow Herald
These recordings have received outstanding reviews in the UK and USA and recently OOTS has recorded new work for Koto and Shakuhachi and chamber orchestra for the USA label Parma.
“Schumann's ‘Rhenish’ is given a superb outing, gloriously joyous, exuberant and generously lyrical, beautifully phrased, breathing and shapely, sensitively addressed and lovingly detailed” International Record Review
Television appearances include the world premiere performance of ‘Spring’ by Roxanna Panufnik, recorded for the South Bank Show, performed with Tasmin Little and the orchestra’s recordings have been chosen as CD of the Week by Classic Fm, Norman Lebrecht and Washington DC Public Radio. OOTS also broadcasts live on BBC Radio3
OOTS has a highly developed and innovative education programme and, working with our partner school, the Welcombe Hills Special School, our players have developed a passion and expertise in working with children and young adults with special needs. In 2010 OOTS commissioned an opera, A Space Odyssey – An Intergalactic Opera, for the Welcombe Hills Special School and other mainstream primary schools.
OOTS’ community programme is extensive and imaginative and includes an extensive range of projects in Stratford-upon-Avon, Rural Warwickshire and inner city Birmingham in partnership with Symphony Hall.