The LCO launches its 2014/15 season with Chopin’s evergreen First Piano Concerto. And who better to perform it than the young Austrian pianist Ingolf Wunder (making his UK concerto debut), who carried off the coveted Concerto Prize at the 2010 International Chopin Competition with this very work.
The concert opens with Orawa – a lively folk-influenced work by another Polish composer, Wojciech Kilar, best known for film scores such as The Pianist and Dracula.
Completing the programme is Dvořák’s joyful Eighth Symphony, which revels in the folk tunes of the composer’s Bohemian homeland.
At the heart of Ashkenazy’s passionate programme lies Elgar’s searing Cello Concerto; written in the aftermath of the First World War, it’s a potent elegy for a lost age. Making his UK concerto debut is the astounding Russian cellist Alexey Stadler.
Like Shostakovich, Ashkenazy experienced life as an artist in the Soviet Union. Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony is an orchestration of his intense Eighth Quartet, written at white heat and dedicated to ‘the victims of fascism and war’.
Sibelius’s Rakastava (The Lover) is a real rarity but no less compelling for all that, abounding in atmosphere.
The iconic Maria João Pires returns to the LCO with one of her favourite concertos – Beethoven’s Fourth.
An ardent nurturer of young talent, Pires has recently launched the Partitura Project – bringing together artists of different generations. As part of the project’s inaugural season, the Armenian Ashot Khachatourian plays Mozart’s carefree Concert Rondo, K.386.
Beethoven knew his Seventh Symphony was special – even by his standards! So did Wagner when he described its irrepressible last movement as the “apotheosis of the dance”.
Concert supported by The David and Claudia Harding Foundation
One of the world’s great musical multi-taskers, the charismatic Jörg Widmann is renowned as a composer, clarinet soloist and conductor. He takes on all three roles in this concert, which features music by another multi-talented musician, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
We open with Widmann conducting the London premiere of his Ikarische Klage – Icarus’s Lament – the ultimate cautionary tale of ambition outstripping ability.
Widmann then turns soloist in Mozart’s sublime Clarinet Concerto, and ends the evening conducting the LCO in Mozart’s ebulliently life- affirming final symphony, the “Jupiter”.
Had the First World War never happened, how different the 20th century musical landscape would have looked. Composers George Butterworth, Cecil Coles and Frederick Septimus Kelly were all killed in action on the battlefields of the Somme. Tonight they’re reunited, with a work by each of them presented as a single, three-movement symphony. Complementing this is the world premiere of a new commission by Duncan Chapman, performed by the LCO and Music Junction Participants, based on the theme of ‘transformation’.
As the battles were raging on the Somme, the Finn Jean Sibelius was struggling with his own demons – alcoholism and depression – while working on his glorious Fifth Symphony, a piece that threw away the rulebook and marked a new beginning in musical history.
Concert supported by MariaMarina Foundation
“Music Junction brings together young people from different backgrounds, encouraging communication and confidence-building through shared musical experience. I’ve learnt so much and it’s been a joy to work on such a truly collaborative project!”
Tickets are now available to book at £35, £25, £17.50 or £10 each
Offers Book for 3–5 concerts and save 20%. 50% discount available for under 21s when booking via the LCO Box Office. LCO also offers a 20% discount on groups of ten or more.
5–6 Albion Court, Albion Place, London W6 0QT
Principal Conductor Christopher Warren-Green
Patron HRH The Duchess of Cornwall
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