Rare performances of Double Bass Concerto

RSNO Principal performs Koussevitzsky showpiece for audiences in Musselburgh and Kirkcaldy

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s (RSNO) Principal Bassist Ana Cordova will take centre stage to perform Serge Koussevitzsky’s rarely performed Concerto for Double Bass, to audiences in Musselburgh and Kirkcaldy at the end of this month.

Infrequently utilised as a solo instrument Koussevitzsky wrote this showpiece for the bass to demonstrate his virtuosity when he was a touring bassist, before embarking on one of the world’s most successful conducting careers and becoming a fierce supporter of 20th century music. Koussevitzsky was even conductor of the then Scottish Orchestra, now RSNO, in 1923. He went on to champion and commission works from composers such as Prokofiev, Ravel, Gershwin and many more. Koussevitzsky moved to the USA in 1924 to become conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a post he held for 25 years, building the BSO’s reputation as one of America’s leading ensembles.

The Concerto for Double Bass is included in a programme that also features two works by German romantic Felix Mendelssohn, Symphony No4 Italian and the Hebrides Overture, written by the composer following a visit to the island of Staffa off the west coast of Scotland. The orchestral version of Maurice Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin opens the programme.

RSNO Principal Bassist Ana Cordova: “The Koussevitzky concerto is a fantastic Russian romantic piece. It is short but very intense, passionate and touching. I am really excited to perform this concerto and have the chance to show to the audience what a double bass can do outside of the orchestra role. I hope everyone will enjoy it as much as I will."

RSNO In Concert presents Hong Kong-born conductor Elim Chan, the first female winner of the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition, making her RSNO debut. RSNO In Concert appears at the Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy on Friday 27 January (Box Office: 01592 583302) and at The Brunton, Musselburgh on Saturday 28 January (Box Office: 0131 665 2240). Both concerts start at 7.30pm. For more information visit www.rsno.org.uk.