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Musikfest Berlin 2023

On September 5, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Andris Nelsons, will make a guest appearance at Musikfest Berlin. The program includes music from America by George Gershwin and Los Angeles-based composer Julia Adolphe, as well as Igor Stravinsky's ballet music "Petrushka."

Veranstaltungen in Berlin: Boston Symphony Orchestra
© Aram Boghosian

With his "Concerto in F" George Gershwin expanded the classical sound palette into jazzy realms. The music of the Los Angeles-based composer Julia Adolphe is still to be discovered in this country. Igor Stravinsky's ballet music "Petrushka", on the other hand, was composed in Western Europe long before Stravinsky found his new home in the USA.

"If you don't swing," says Jean-Yves Thibaudet, "you don't play the Concerto in F." After all, he says, the work, introduced by pulsating Charleston rhythms, is "between two stools - classical and jazz." The fact that Gershwin was at home in both musical worlds is particularly appealing to the jazz-savvy master pianist from France: "His music is boundless."

For more than three decades, Jean-Yves Thibaudet has been causing a stir on international stages with his unmistakable touch, richness of color, sparkling virtuosity and poetic interpretations. Bringing Gershwin's Piano Concerto to the Berlin guest performance is a fortunate choice.

At his side, Thibaudet has the Boston Symphony Orchestra, whose music director Andris Nelsons raves about the tradition-steeped orchestra as "one of the best in the world. Nelsons, who for his part is one of the most sought-after orchestra conductors of our day, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra devote the second half of the concert to Igor Stravinsky's burlesque "Petrushka," dedicated to the "eternally unhappy hero of all fairs in all countries" (Stravinsky).

The kaleidoscopic music, performed by the congenial impresario Sergei Diaghilev with his Ballets Russes, thrives on the play with short melodic and rhythmic building blocks and quotations that are recombined again and again. "Opener" of the evening is an extremely dynamic orchestral work by New York composer Julia Adolphe: "Makeshift Castle," which, in the composer's words, addresses the "contrasting states of permanence and transience."

Julia Adolphe (*1988)

Makeshift Castle (2020 - 2022)

George Gershwin (1898 - 1937)

Concerto in F for piano and orchestra (1925)

Igor Stravinsky (1882 - 1971)

Pétrouchka (1910 - 1911, rev. 1946/47)

Burlesque scenes in four pictures

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