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Sunday Classics: Iceland Symphony Orchestra

Sibelius’s romantic First Symphony, plus sophistication from Bizet and Ravel

3:00pm, Sunday 16 February 2020

Yeol Eum Son

 

With a population of barely half a million, it’s remarkable that Iceland can produce such an outstanding international ensemble. For the Iceland Symphony Orchestra is a world-class group with a global reputation for vigorous, strongly defined performances – a prominence that’s only grown under the powerful baton of its Chief Conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier.

They bring their Usher Hall debut concert to a gloriously resonant conclusion with the blazing brass and sumptuous strings of Sibelius’s Tchaikovsky-inspired First Symphony. Beforehand, they’re joined by South Korean pianist and fast-rising star Yeol Eum Son for one of the most unusual – and most demanding – concertos in the repertoire. Ravel wrote his darkly jazzy Piano Concerto for the Left Hand for pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who had lost his right arm in World War One – but its dazzling athleticism is so virtuosic that it’s hard to believe only a single hand is playing.

The Icelandic players complete their compelling programme with a striking piece from their homeland: Anna Thorvaldsdóttir’s Aireality evokes all the raw beauty of the uncompromising Icelandic landscape. Bizet’s tune-filled L’arlésienne Suite No. 2 transports you to warmer climes as the concert’s sunny opener.

Running order

Door time: 2:00pm

Conductor:        Yan Pascal Tortelier

Soloist:             Yeol Eum (piano)

Programme:    

Bizet – L'Arlésienne Suite No. 2

Ravel – Concerto for the Left Hand

Interval

Thorvaldsdottir – Aireality

Sibelius – Symphony No. 1

Estimated end time: 5pm

Prices

£35 | £29 | £24 | £18 | £13.50

Concessions available including student and group discounts

Early Bird Offer: Book 5 or more concerts in the same transaction for the Sunday Classic Season 2019 -20 season before 5pm on Tuesday 20th August and you will be eligible for £5.00 off top two ticket prices. (Offer subject to availability) 

**Please note a £1.50 transaction fee applies on the overall booking when purchasing online or over the phone (non-refundable)**