Søndergård Conducts Mahler Five

Sat 6 Oct 2018, 7.30PM
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Lotta Wennäkoski Flounce Scottish premiere
Beethoven Piano Concerto No2
Interval
Mahler Symphony No5

Thomas Søndergård Conductor
Francesco Piemontesi Piano

‘A symphony must be like the world,’ declared Gustav Mahler. ‘It must embrace everything!’ So what better way for Thomas Søndergård to make his entrance as the RSNO’s new Music Director than by plunging headlong into Mahler’s Fifth Symphony: a sweeping romantic drama of life, death and – of course – love? Superstar pianist Francesco Piemontesi plays Beethoven’s brightest concerto, and a musical firecracker from Finnish composer Lotta Wennäkoski lights the touchpaper. Come and join the celebration!

This concert can be purchased as part of a subscription to the RSNO’s 2018:19 Season. Start saving when you book just four concerts! Click here to find out more.

6.45PM: Pre-concert talk with Katherine Wren (RSNO Viola) in the Clyde Foyer.

Tickets

£38, £29.50, £24, £18, £13

Discounts

Under 16s free (max 2 per paying adult); Under 26s / Mature Students £6 in advance, £8 after 5pm on the day; Unemployed £6; Disabled patrons and their carers 50% off; Group discounts available

Box Office

0141 353 8000

Featured Artists

Thomas Søndergård

Thomas Søndergård Conductor

Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård is Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, after six seasons as Principal Guest Conductor. He served as Principal Conductor of BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBCNOW) from September 2012 – August 2018, and prior to this, as Principal Conductor and Musical Advisor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra for three seasons.

Thomas has conducted many leading orchestras, including London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Göteborgs Symfoniker, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Bamberger Symphoniker; leading tours with Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and European Union Youth Orchestra; Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Brussels Philharmonic; Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National d’Ile de France; Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony and Seattle Symphony Orchestra.

The 2018/19 season includes his debuts with Chicago Symphony Orchestra joined by Alexander Gavrylyuk, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de France and Tapiola Sinfonietta. He makes return visits to Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the orchestra of the Royal Danish Academy Copenhagen, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bayerische Staatsoper (Turandot) and Deutsche Oper Berlin (Berlioz’s Romeo and Juliet). Plans with RSNO include tours to China and the United States, premieres of new commissions and Marsalis’ Violin Concerto with Nicola Benedetti.

Recent highlights include debuts with Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Bern Symphony Orchestra, Gurzenich-Orchester Köln, SWR Baden-Baden, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg and return visits to Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and the revival of The Magic Flute with Norwegian Opera.

A passionate supporter of the music of Carl Nielsen, his most recent programme with Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra (Symphony No. 5) received wide praise as “equal of the great pioneers of Nielsen interpretation… It’s harder to imagine a finer performance of this remarkable symphony” (Dagens Nyheter). As part of the 2015 anniversary celebrations of both Sibelius and Nielsen he conducted a wide variety of works by these two composers with many leading orchestras. In 2019 he will participate in a special concert to celebrate Nielsen’s work with the Royal Danish Academy of Music Copenhagen.

Thomas is also an experienced opera conductor at home in mainstream and contemporary repertoire. Previous opera includes Bayerische Staatsoper (Turandot), Norwegian Opera (Die Zauberflöte), Deutsche Oper Berlin (world premiere of Scartazzini’s Edward II) and Tosca, Turandot (Nina Stemme) and Les dialogues des Carmelites for Kungliga Operan (Royal Swedish Opera). He was described as “a sensation” at his debut with the Royal Danish Opera conducting Ruders' opera Kafka's Trial: "He is one of the best things that has happened to the art of opera for many years" and subsequent productions there have included Il barbiere di Siviglia, Le Nozze di Figaro, La bohème, Cunning Little Vixen and Il viaggio a Reims.

Releases with BBCNOW include Sibelius Symphonies 1, 2, 6 & 7 and most recently a disc which shines light on Sibelius’ tone poems and theatre music, featuring Finlandia and Valse Triste (Linn Records). Other noteworthy recordings include Vilde Frang's celebrated first recording for EMI, and Ruders’ Piano Concerto No. 2 on Bridge Records which was nominated for a Gramophone Award in 2011. In 2011 he was awarded the prestigious Queen Ingrid Foundation Prize for services to Music in Denmark. Due for release shortly are the Lutoslawski and Dutilleux cello concertos with Johannes Moser and Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin for Pentatone.

Francesco  Piemontesi

Francesco Piemontesi Piano

Francesco Piemontesi is a pianist of exceptional refinement of expression, which is allied to a consummate technical skill. Widely renowned for his interpretation of Mozart and the early Romantic repertoire, Piemontesi’s pianism and sensibility has a close affinity too with the later 19th century and 20th century repertoire of Brahms, Liszt, Dvorák, Ravel, Debussy, Bartók and beyond. Of one of his great teachers and mentors, Alfred Brendel, Piemontesi says that Brendel taught him “to love the detail of things”.

Francesco Piemontesi appears with major ensembles worldwide: Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, DSO and Berlin Radio Symphony, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Vienna Symphony, Czech Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, St Petersburg Philharmonic, London Symphony Orcherstra, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, The Hallé, Tonhalle-Orchestra Zurich, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National de France, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Israel Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Dallas Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic.

He has performed with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Nicholas Collon, Charles Dutoit, Sir Mark Elder, Iven Fischer, Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla, Manfred Honeck, Marek Janowski, Neeme Järvi, Ton Koopman, Andrew Manze, Zubin Mehta, Sir Roger Norrington, Gianandrea Noseda, Sakari Oramo and Yuri Temirkanov.

Piemontesi is also a natural and keen chamber musician and plays with a variety of partners – Leif Ove Andsnes, Yuri Bashmet, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Emmanuel Pahud, Heinrich Schiff, Christian Tetzlaff, Tabea Zimmermann and the Emerson Quartet. In solo recital, he has appeared in many prestigious venues including London’s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Rotterdam De Doelen, Berlin Philharmonie, Zürich Tonhalle, Vienna Konzerthaus and Musikverein, Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York, and Suntory Hall Tokyo.

In January 2016, Piemontesi launched his complete Mozart Odyssey at the Wigmore Hall, performing the sonatas in a series of recitals over the course of three seasons: “[The D-major Fantasia] was a good introduction to Piemontesi’s balance between musical intelligence, judgement and intuition, which poured into his reading of the K284 Sonata… The detail of decoration and dynamics Piemontesi released in the penultimate section – a full-scale Adagio vocalise of great intensity – made Mozart’s supernatural eloquence soar” Classical Source Piemontesi has performed at the Verbier Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, La Roque d'Anthéron, Chopin International Music Festival in Warsaw, Lucerne Festival, Schubertiade, Aix-en-Provence Easter Festival, Rheingau and Schleswig-Holstein festivals and New York Mostly Mozart Festival.

Francesco Piemontesi has released a number of fine recordings, including three recordings for Naïve Classique: the Debussy Préludes, released in autumn 2015, Mozart Piano Works, and Schumann and Dvorák‘s Piano Concerti with BBC Symphony Orchestra and Jirí Belohlávek. His recording of Mozart Piano Concertos Nos. 25 & 26 with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Andrew Manze were released on Linn Records in August 2017.

Born in Locarno, Francesco Piemontesi studied with Arie Vardi before working with Alfred Brendel, Murray Perahia, Cécile Ousset and Alexis Weissenberg. He rose to international prominence with prizes at several major competitions, including the 2007 Queen Elisabeth Competition, and between 2009-11 he was chosen as a BBC New Generation Artist. Since 2012, Piemontesi has been the Artistic Director of the Settimane Musicali di Ascona.