Center for the Arts Welcomes the BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Posted: January 3, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

“One of the most enthralling concerts of the season,” exclaimed the Evening Standard after the BBC National Orchestra of Wales performed at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Acclaimed for its range and musicianship and possessed of an extensive repertoire of classical and contemporary compositions, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales recently celebrated its 60th anniversary.

Now, on its inaugural U.S. tour, under the baton of Thierry Fischer, the orchestra plays an intriguing program Mason’s Center for the Arts on Sunday, Jan. 28, at 4 p.m.

The program includes Strauss’ “Don Juan,” Op. 20; Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73; and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 in C, K. 467, featuring pianist Llyr Williams.

The BBC National Orchestra of Wales occupies a special role as both a recording and broadcasting orchestra. It has showcased its wide repertoire during its residence at St. David’s Hall Cardiff, at which it gives more than 20 performances each year. The orchestra also performs a series in Swansea and is heard regularly on BBC Radio.

Previously principal conductor and artistic advisor of the Ulster Orchestra, Thierry Fischer was named principal conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in September 2006. The Swiss-born Fischer began his career as a flutist with the Hamburg and Zurich Operas and has since toured with orchestras in Prague and New York, as well as conducting cycles of Schubert, Mendelssoh, Beethoven, Brahms and Schumann. Fischer’s hallmarks are his lightness of touch and transparency of orchestra texture.

Llyr Williams is a 2000 graduate of London’s Royal Academy of Music, winning its highest award. He was selected by the Young Concert Artists Trust in 2002. His playing was described as possessed of a “slightly unnerving self-confidence,” and he was noted for “flawless fingers” by the London Times.

A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins at 3:15 p.m. on the hall’s Grand Tier.

Tickets are $55, $47 and $27.50. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit

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