Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra: Tchaikovsky Four

Sat 6 Mar 2021, 7.30PM
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Elgar Polonia
Chopin Piano Concerto No2
Tchaikovsky Symphony No4

Lawrence Foster Conductor
Szymon Nehring Piano
Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra  

A savage fanfare blasts out, but for Tchaikovsky this wasn’t just music but the sound of Fate itself. His Fourth Symphony tells the story of his emotional struggle – an electrifying showcase for the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, visiting Scotland as part of our year-long celebration of Polish culture. Naturally, they’re playing Chopin, with the award-winning Szymon Nehring on piano. But they’re also bringing Elgar’s stormy musical salute to a war-torn Poland, 110 years after Elgar himself conducted the RSNO.

In partnership with Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
The RSNO's Polska Scotland series is supported by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute

6.45PM: Conductor Lawrence Foster in conversation in the Clyde Foyer.

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Featured Artists

Lawrence Foster

Lawrence Foster Conductor

Lawrence Foster celebrates his seventh year as Music Director of Opéra de Marseille in the 2019:20 season, as well as his first as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Known for his exhilarating and expressive performances in a wide range of music, he enjoys a major career spanning the US, Europe and Asia. As a champion of the music of Enescu, his interpretations are renowned for their faithfulness to the score: “Lawrence Foster seems to have been put on this planet to conduct Enescu’s music. He is clearly a true believer and he understands every technical nuance and every expressive twist and turn” – The Telegraph.

He begins his tenure with the National Polish Radio Symphony at the prestigious Enescu Festival, performing music by Adrian Pop, Chopin and Lutoslawski. During the season he conducts the complete Schumann symphonies, the piano concertos of Liszt, Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette and a concert performance of Ravel’s L'heure espagnole. He takes part in Beethoven’s 250th anniversary year with the Third and Ninth symphonies, and conducts repertoire ranging from Vivaldi, Mozart and Mendelssohn to Tchaikovsky, Enescu and Bartók. He also conducts Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin in a gala celebrating the 60th anniversary of Debüt im Deutschlandfunk Kultur, and Luzerner Sinfonieorchester in a Saint-Saëns Festival, featuring all the composer’s piano concertos.

Foster’s opera season opens at Opéra de Marseille with Die Zauberflöte. As a guest conductor he returns to Oper Frankfurt for Britten’s Peter Grimes and to Opéra de Monte-Carlo for Kurt Weill’s Street Scene. He has conducted in major opera houses around the world, with highlights including Troilus and Cressida at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, recorded for EMI, the first performance of Berg’s Lulu at Houston Opera, Enescu’s Oedipe at the Deutsche Oper, also recorded for EMI, and the opening performance of the newly created Los Angeles Opera with Plácido Domingo and Sherrill Milnes in Verdi’s Otello.

Following his successful ten-year tenure as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra, he now serves as its Conductor Laureate. He toured extensively with the orchestra, and their discography together includes a number of recordings for Pentatone Classics, including highly acclaimed recordings of Verdi’s Otello and violin works by Bruch, Chausson and Korngold with Arabella Steinbacher. He has also held music directorships with the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, Houston Symphony, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Orchestre et Opéra National de Montpellier and the Aspen Festival Music School.

He has worked with orchestras including Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Copenhagen Phil, Helsinki Philharmonic and Czech Philharmonic orchestras, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini of Parma, among others.

In addition to recordings with the Gulbenkian Orchestra, he has received praise for a number of recordings with Pentatone including the early symphonies of Schubert with the Copenhagen Philharmonic, Strauss’ Zigeunerbaron and Die Fledermaus with NDR Radiophilharmonic, and the Martinu Double Concertos.

Born in Los Angeles to Romanian parents, Foster served as Artistic Director of the Georg Enescu Festival from 1998 to 2001. In 2003 he was decorated by the Romanian President for services to Romanian Music.

Szymon  Nehring

Szymon Nehring Piano

Szymon Nehring is one of the most gifted and promising pianists of the younger generation in Poland. He is the only Pole to win First Prize at the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv, one of the most important piano competitions in the world.

In 2017-2019 he was a student in the class of Boris Berman at the Yale School of Music (the Artist Diploma program). At the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz he studied in the class of Stefan Wojtas, with whom he worked since 2013. Before that, he studied piano in the class of Olga Lazarska at the Mieczyslaw Karlowicz Primary Music School in Kraków and at the Fryderyk Chopin Secondary Music School in Kraków for 11 years.

In 2014 he won First Prize at the Arthur Rubinstein in Memoriam International Competition in Bydgoszcz. In 2015 he received a Krystian Zimerman scholarship and performed in the finals of the 17th Fryderyk Chopin International Piano Competition to win an Honourable Mention, the Audience Prize as well as a number of extra prizes. In 2017 he won the First Prize at the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv as well as several extra prizes, including the Best Performance of a Chopin Piece Prize.

His debut CD with music by Polish composers received the Fryderyk Award 2016 from the Polish Phonographic Academy (in the category Album of the Year – Solo Recital), the Joker from Crescendo magazine, and the Supersonic Award from Pizzicato magazine. The year 2016 saw the release of Nehring’s two albums: Chopin’s Piano Concertos with the Sinfonietta Cracovia orchestra conducted by Jurek Dybal and Krzysztof Penderecki, as well as Krzysztof Penderecki’s Piano Concerto “Resurrection” under the composer’s baton. Nehring’s latest recording includes Chopin’s works performed on a period instrument (Erard 1858).

Szymon Nehring has given concerts in Asia, both Americas and in most European countries. He has performed with orchestras such as the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, the NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic, the Israel Symphony Orchestra, the Bamberger Symphoniker, L'Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, the Calgary Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, collaborating with conductors including Jerzy Maksymiuk, Jacek Kaspszyk, Grzegorz Nowak, Pablo Heras-Casado, Karina Canellakis, Giancarlo Guerrero, Omer Meir Wellber, John Axelrod, Lawrence Foster, David Zinman and Krzysztof Penderecki.

Nehring’s recent concerts include performances at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, Copenhagen’s DR Koncerthuset, Barcelona’s Palau de la Música Catalana, Berlin’s Konzerthaus, Vienna’s Musikverein, Zürich’s Tonhalle Maag and Munich’s Herkulessaal.

In 2019 he was accepted into the Programme of the Orpheum Foundation.

 Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra

Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra  

The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR) was founded in 1935 in Warsaw by Grzegorz Fitelberg, who led it until the outbreak of the Second World War. In 1945, the Orchestra was revived in Katowice by Witold Rowicki.

In 1947, the post of artistic director was taken again by Grzegorz Fitelberg. After his death (1953), the Orchestra was headed by Jan Krenz, Bohdan Wodiczko, Kazimierz Kord, Tadeusz Strugala, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Stanislaw Wislocki, Jacek Kaspszyk, Antoni Wit, Gabriel Chmura and, once again, Jacek Kaspszyk.

In September 2000, Joanna Wnuk-Nazarowa became General and Programme Director of the NOSPR. From 2012 to August 2019 Alexander Liebreich was Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the NOSPR. In September 2018, Ewa Bogusz-Moore took up the post of General and Programme Director of the NOSPR. From September 2019 maestro Lawrence Foster became Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the NOSPR.

Apart from making archive recordings for Polish Radio, the Orchestra has recorded more than 200 CDs (Diapason d’Or, Grand Prix du Disque and International Classical Music Awards).

Many famous conductors and soloists have appeared with the NOSPR all over the world. The Orchestra has implemented numerous projects, such as ‘Maraton twórczosci Góreckiego’, ‘Pociag do muzyki Kilara’, ‘Muzyczne podróze morskie’.

Since 2015 the NOSPR – winner of 2018 ICMA Special Award – has organised the Katowice Kultura Natura Festival, and since 2005 the Festival of World Premieres – Polish Modern Music.

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