THE acclaimed Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra will mark its tenth season under the baton of Kirill Karabits with over 150 performances across the region.

To launch the 2018/19 season there will be a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No.2, conducted by Karabits, at the orchestra’s home, Lighthouse in Poole, on Wednesday, October 3, with soprano Lise Lindstrom, mezzo-soprano Nadine Weissmann and the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus.

The orchestra will also be marking several major anniversaries starting with the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.

English composer Mark-Anthony Turnage has been commissioned to write Testament - a setting of four Ukrainian poems for soprano and orchestra.

BSO’s new artist-in-residence for the season, German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser, who has been hailed as “one of the finest among the astonishing gallery of young virtuoso cellists”, will provide three programmes throughout 2018/19.

But it's the BSO's relationship with Kirill Karabits, which has generated the most headlines. The Daily Telegraph described it as, “one of the country’s finest orchestral partnerships”.

Kirill became the first Ukrainian to hold a titled position with a British orchestra in 2008 after a unanimous vote by the musicians.

He has since taken the orchestra to new heights, and in recognition of his work with the orchestra, he won the Royal Philharmonic Society Conductor Award in 2013.

In April 2019 he will become the longest serving chief conductor since Sir Dan Godfrey.

Other highlights of Kirill’s tenth anniversary season include a performance of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius and a performance of Teterian’s Symphony No. 3 featuring duduk and surna players Harutyun Chqolyan and Arshaluys Tadevosyan which the orchestra and Karabits are recording for the next instalment of their rare Eastern European music recording series on Chandos.

Kirill Karabits, BSO chief conductor, told the Echo: “I am extremely proud of the relationship I have developed with the BSO, our collaboration and mutual respect is one of my greatest achievements. I am also incredibly proud of our relationship with our audiences which we have created together.”

Dougie Scarfe, BSO chief executive said: "Kirill’s rare gift to bring a performance to life, combined with the outstanding musicianship and commitment of the members of the BSO, means that audiences are enjoying another golden age of performances in the history of this great orchestra."

He added: "Year on year we are continually reaching new audiences, in and outside of the concert hall, and expanding our reach across the south and south west."