Program Openingsconcert with Sol Gabetta and Elim Chan Antwerp Symphony Orchestra
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29 Sep 2023

Bohuslav Martinů’s extraordinary Cello Concerto No. 1 is one of the finest compositions for cello of the 20th century. It also reveals what a lyrical powerhouse the Czech composer was. An heir to the tradition of Antonin Dvořák, Martinů was also inspired by Baroque idioms. Sofia Gubaidulina is widely considered to be one of the foremost contemporary Russian composers. In her Fairytale Poem, she veers between tonal and atonal music. In 1910, Russian fairytales also served as inspiration for a ballet by Serge Diaghilev, the founder of the famous Ballets Russes, and the choreographer Michel Fokine. Stravinsky incorporated all the ingredients of Russian fantastical operas in his work, exceeding even the wildest expectations. The premiere of The Firebird was a huge success, securing the composer’s reputation as a revolutionary in Paris, where he became a figurehead of 20th-century modernism.