Thursday 19 May, 2022

22/23 season: From tragedy to the spirit of achievement

22/23 season: From tragedy to the spirit of achievement

The Basque National Orchestra's new season takes us from tragedy to the spirit of achievement through music and its great examples: from the rawness of Shostakovich to the ghosts of Tchaikovsky, Bruckner’s greatest symphony and the most famous work by Carl Orff. 

The orchestra will recover projects that were abandoned during the pandemic, such as the première of ‘Mamu kantak’ by Carpenter, a piece commissioned jointly with three British orchestras.

Basque creations will also be prominent with the première of ‘Mare Marginis’, commissioned to Ramon Lazkano, and with the closure of the project ‘Elkano: Mundubira musika bidelagun’ which will be brought by Zuriñe F. Gerenabarrena and her work ‘Lorratz’, after completing a round-the-world trip through the imagination of our composers. 

Likewise, the Basque National Orchestra will foster the discovery of rarely-performed works that deserved to be listened to, such as 'Doctor Atomic Symphony' by Adams and other works by little-known authors in the Basque Country such as Veprik and Dzenitis. 

In order to fulfil this goal, we will have artists of the stature of Alexei Volodin, Alena Baeva, Yulianna Avdeeva, Dinis Sousa, Roderick Cox or Frank Peter Zimmermann. And we will receive great artists from our land such as the Orfeón Donostiarra on its 125th anniversary, Easo Gazte and Easo Eskolania, Carlos Mena and soprano Jone Martínez.

Robert Trevino will continue as the chief conductor of the Basque National Orchestra. 

Season Concert Programming


The course of History has always been an immense source of inspiration for artistic creation. Also for music, which very often becomes a mirror of the soul, of adversity, of the most brutal tragedy, but also of its spirit of achievement. And these are the foundations on which the new Concert Season has been built. We are talking about the story of overcoming adversity and in which music, as a sublime art, has given us excellent examples throughout its history, some of which will accompany us in the 22/23 Season. We are referring to the rawness, sometimes hidden, that Shostakovich expresses through his notes (Symphony no.8), the ghosts of Tchaikovsky (Symphony no.4), Bruckner’s greatest symphony (Symphony no.8) and the most famous work by Carl Orff that is still heard around the world, Carmina Burana, with the Orfeón Donostiarra on its 125th anniversary.

The Basque National Orchestra’s 2022/2023 Season Concerts will begin on23 September in Vitoria-Gasteiz, and they will wrap up on 9 June 2023 in San Sebastian. It will be a total of 10 season programmes which, distributed between Vitoria-Gasteiz (10), Bilbao (10), San Sebastian (10x2) and Pamplona (10), totalling 50 concerts. This are just the Season Concerts. Following the line of argument explained above, the starting point of the season will be set by the tragedy that Shostakovich looks over in his Symphony no. 8 and which is signed in 1943 as a result of his shock at the millions of dead in World War II. Shostakovich will also provide the end with the spirit of achievement that can be detected in his Symphony no.15, written in 1971 and full of optimism.

We are looking at a Season with huge doses of realism and adversity, but also of the spirit of achievement, optimism, energy and passion.



Robert Trevino continues as the chief conductor


With the end of the 21/22 Season, Robert Trevino completes his fifth and last season as the chief conductor. However, the great artistic results that the orchestra is achieving in recent years, and which has received widespread backing from critics, have led to the decision to continue and extend his tenure without specifying an end date.

The orchestra's chief conductor will conduct four of the Season's ten programmes. He will direct some of the most symbolic works of the new season, such as Symphonies no. 8 and no. 15 by Shostakovich, which will open and close, respectively, the Season. Also Bruckner's Eighth, acknowledged as the cathedral of symphonies par excellence, and Mahler’s Fifth, turned into a new story of achievement. He will also feature in the premières by Zuriñe F. Gerenabarrena (Lorratz) and Ramon Lazkano (Mare Marginis), in this case with pianist Alexandre Tharaud as a soloist.



Shared premières and new repertoire


Mamu kantak (Ghost Songs) by Gary Carpenter is a work commissioned between 3 British orchestras (Royal Scottish National Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra) and the Basque National Orchestra, a result of the existing relationship between the latter two through Robert Trevino. The score includes some texts by Marion Angus that will be translated and sung in Basque by Easo Gazte and Easo Eskolania.

Mare Marginis is the name of the concerto for piano worked on by Ramon Lazkano. It is a joint commission by Radio France, the Basque National Orchestra and the WDR orchestra (Cologne Radio Orchestra). The work will première on 11 February at the Festival Présences 2023 by Radio France with the French National Orchestra directed by François-Xavier Roth. The Basque National Orchestra will do so one week later and on 20 May it will presented by the WDR Orchestra.

The third première of the Season will be brought by Zuriñe F. Gerenabarrena with Lorratz within the project Elkano: Mundubira musika bidelagun. After Mikel Chamizo, Mikel Urquiza, Joël Mérah, and Teresa Catalán, Gerenabarrena will conclude the commemoration of the first circumnavigation of the world through the imagination of our composers.

In addition to the premières, ten works will be performed by the orchestra for the first time and will therefore be added to its repertoire. Their performance will also be a big discovery for the audience. Two of them stand out over the rest: on the one hand, Doctor Atomic Symphony, by John Adams, which shows a desperate faced with the stress, anguish and pain suffered by those who were in Los Álamos, New Mexico, preparing the first atomic bomb test during World War II; and on the other, 2 poémes by Alexander Veprik, a Russian author sent to the Gulag from 1950 to 1954 accused of being a nationalist Jew and who, after being freed and at death's door, wrote these poems.

Along with this new repertoire the orchestra will also perform works such as Shostakovich's Concerto for violin No.2 featuring Alena Baeva; Elgar's Concerto for violin with Frank Peter Zimmermann; the Concerto for cello by Korngold with Anne Gastinel; and Chopin’s Concerto for piano No.2 in the hands of Yulianna Avdeeva. Beethoven's and Mahler's Fifths will also be on the music stands, until adding up to the 28 works that will make up the new concert season. 



Conductors, soloists, and choirs


The orchestra will once again receive a good handful of artists throughout its programming, although it is worth noting that it will tackle three programmes alone, without guest soloists, allowing it to retain a leading performing role.

CONDUCTORS: Robert Trevino will open and close the concert season and will direct a total of four programmes. For the rest of the programmes the podium will be shared by Roberto Forés, Dinis Sousa, Roderick Cox, Christoph-Mathias Mueller and Karel Mark Chichon, all of them in their début with the Basque National Orchestra. The line-up of conductors will be completed by Spaniard Pablo González.

SOLOISTS: In this section we will welcome for the first time Alexandre Tharaud (piano) and Anne Gastinel (cello). Greats such as Alexei Volodin and Yulianna Avdeeva on the piano, in addition to Alena Baeva and Frank Peter Zimmermann with the violin, will be returning. As for vocals we will be opening with soprano Jone Martínez, followed by tenor Carlos Mena and baritone Javier Franco, three soloists who along with the Orfeón Donostiarra will feature in Carmina Burana by Carl Orff.

CHOIRS: Although we have shared a number of performances at festivals, etc., for the first time we will receive Easo Gazte and Easo Eskolania during the Subscription Season. They will feature in the première of Mamu Kantak (Ghost Songs), which will be sung in Basque. On its 125th anniversary, the Orfeón Donostiarra will accompany the orchestra for the performance of Carmina Burana.



Other orchestral activities


Polish tour

The Basque National Orchestra's last international journey took place on 9 March 2020 soon before the full lockdown. Last year it had to cancel its trip to Salzburg due to the unexpected lockdown in Austria and those concerts were postponed until February 2024. But before that, we are able to announce the invitation received from the Beethoven Festival held in Poland and which the orchestra will go to in March 2023. The cities included in this tour are Kraków, Warsaw, Katowice and Wrocław.



As well as its significant concert activity, the orchestra is also immersed in an ambitious recording project. This Season will highlight the second volume of orchestral work by Maurice Ravel. The Basque National Orchestra continues along the path started with the Ondine record label and with Robert Trevino conducting. After Ravel and Americascapes, which continue to receive very good reviews and awards from the most prestigious specialised media (Gramophone, France Musique, BBC Music Magazine, Diapason, The New Yorker…), a second Ravel has been confirmed. The recording has already been made and its international release is expected for after the summer.


Shared projects

The orchestra will maintain its commitment with the ABAO Bilbao Opera Season, Musika-Música in Bilbao, the Gala of the Frontiers of Knowledge Awards by the BBVA Foundation, the Musical Fortnight in San Sebastian and Musikaste. And after an absence of 2 years due to the pandemic, it will bring back its now traditional film score concert in the Velodrome, with the San Sebastian Film Festival. Its commitments include new engagements with Viralgen, the members’ concert by the Orfeón Donostiarra, 40 years of EITB and the Christmas Concert of El Diario Vasco.

The Miramon Matinées and Musika Gela by the orchestra will be presented in the future.



Season tickets and tickets


Sale of season tickets from 15 June onwards

With the removal of capacity restrictions we can again process new season tickets for the concert Season. After the renewal period for current season ticket holders, the sale of new season tickets will open starting from 15 June. Reservations can be already made on Season tickets will be issued in the order applications are received in. The price of season tickets for 10 concerts ranges from €80 to €235.


Sale of single tickets from 1 September onwards

All tickets will be on sale starting from 1 September on and on the websites of the auditoriums and ticket booths.





Through the conviction of being a cultural instrument that is very necessary in society, the Basque National Orchestra has activated a new tool to connect with the public through patronage. This will make it possible for people who wish to help towards the development of this national cultural project to do so with their contributions.

Patronage is presented as a necessary long-term tool that complements the grants provided by the public administrations, and is being implemented as a way to contribute towards and develop culture and society. Contributions to the orchestra in any of the forms available will be eligible for tax deductions. More information on



Special thanks


Finally, the orchestra would like to express its gratitude for the significant collaboration and support received from all the entities that participate in the fulfilment of its different activities: its season ticket holders and the public in general, sponsoring and collaborating entities, cultural agents, communication media, etc., that make the Basque National Orchestra's activity possible.

Next events

Concerts & Tickets September

1 Th
2 Fr
3 Sa
4 Su
5 Mo
6 Tu
7 We
8 Th
9 Fr
10 Sa
10 september, 2022 Saturday, 19:00 h.
Other activities Fauré's Requiem Ramón Tebar Arantzazu
Fauré's Requiem
11 Su
12 Mo
13 Tu
14 We
15 Th
16 Fr
17 Sa
17 september, 2022 Saturday, 12:00 h.
Other activities San Sebastian Film Festival: Concert & Screening Juanjo Ocón Donostia / San Sebastián
San Sebastian Film Festival: Concert & Screening
18 Su
19 Mo
20 Tu
21 We
22 Th
23 Fr
23 september, 2022 Friday, 19:30 h.
Season Concerts Tragedy Robert Treviño Vitoria/Gasteiz
24 Sa
25 Su
26 Mo
26 september, 2022 Monday, 19:30 h.
Season Concerts Tragedy Robert Treviño Donostia / San Sebastián
27 Tu
27 september, 2022 Tuesday, 19:30 h.
Season Concerts Tragedy Robert Treviño Donostia / San Sebastián Buy tickets
28 We
28 september, 2022 Wednesday, 19:30 h.
Season Concerts Tragedy Robert Treviño Pamplona/Iruña Buy tickets
29 Th
29 september, 2022 Thursday, 19:30 h.
Season Concerts Tragedy Robert Treviño Bilbao/Bilbo Buy tickets
30 Fr