BBC National Orchestra of Wales

BBC National Orchestra of Wales

BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Based in Cardiff, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales has performed throughout Wales, UK and internationally.


    The BBC National Orchestra of Wales is one of the UK’s most versatile orchestras, with a varied range of work as both a broadcast orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra of Wales. It performs live to tens of thousands of people across Wales and the UK each year; and can regularly be heard in the UK on BBC radio and television.

    Generously supported by the Arts Council of Wales, BBC NOW is the Orchestra in Residence at St David’s Hall, Cardiff, and presents a season in Swansea. The orchestra performs a busy schedule of live concerts, touring the length and breadth of Wales as well as appearing at venues around the rest of the UK. Almost all its performances can be heard on the BBC, not least through regular broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru.

    Under its Principal Conductor Thomas Søndergård and Conductor Laureate Tadaaki Otaka, the Orchestra has won considerable acclaim over the years. With an outstanding ability to refresh the core repertoire, it is proud of its adventurous programming and continuously demonstrates artistic excellence in new and rarely performed works. As part of its commitment to contemporary music, the orchestra appointed Tommy Andersson as composer in association for the 2014–15 season, alongside Mark Bowden, who has been resident composer since June 2011. The Orchestra is invited to perform at festivals throughout Wales and the UK each year, and appears biennially at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. It also gives several concerts annually as part of the BBC Proms, where it is proud to represent Wales.

    Learning is at the heart of the Orchestra's work, and in recent years this has included the development of an innovative concert format designed for audiences of adults and children who are Deaf, deafened and hard of hearing; a unique music resource-pack has been distributed to every primary and special school in Wales. The Orchestra was seen on cinema screens Across the UK in October 2014 as part of the BBC’s landmark Ten Pieces project to inspire children to creativity in classical music.

    The Orchestra’s home is BBC Hoddinott Hall, a world-class concert hall and recording studio in the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay. There the Orchestra continues its work as the UK’s foremost soundtrack orchestra, recording for programmes including Doctor Who (BBC Cymru Wales), Hidden Kingdoms (BBC natural history unit) and The Crimson Field (BBC One).