A dream concert
Vladimir Jurowski & Seong-Jin Cho
Yelena Firsova’s homage to the teacher, Robert's declaration of love to Clara and the last symphony of one of the last vocational symphonists
Jelena Firssowa “Der Garten der Träume” (Hommage an Schostakowitsch) für Orchester op. 111
Robert Schumann Konzert für Klavier und Orchester a-Moll op. 54
Dmitri Shostakovich Symphony No. 15 in A major op. 141
Vladimir Jurowski - Conductor
Seong-Jin Cho - Piano
A dream concert
In 2006, on the occasion of the 100th birthday of Dmitri Shostakovich, Yelena Firsova composed an orchestral homage to the great role model. She chose the significant image of a richly decorated garden, in which, upon closer examination of the plants, she had repeatedly come across Shostakovich’s initials DSCH. Accordingly, the initials are found in her work, along with passages from String Quartet No. 7, “one of my favourites.” The last symphony of the honoured composer is also rich in dream sequences and mysterious associations. After forty minutes of inner struggle, the Fifteenth ends with a simple plea to finally let go, perhaps one of the most difficult human tasks.
In order to be able to pass such an existential test, one might turn to love as a source of endless life energy. To this end, Robert Schumann has more than once chosen just the right musical words.
Vladimir Jurowski - Conductor
Vladimir Jurowski has been chief conductor and artistic director of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin since autumn 2017. The conductor, pianist and musicologist Vladimir Jurowski takes on all challenges whether they be stylistic, technical or music-historical.
After receiving training at the Moscow Conservatory Vladimir Jurowski emigrated to Germany in 1990. Here he continued his studies at the music conservatories in Dresden and Berlin – conducting with Rolf Reuter; correpetition and song accompaniment with Semion Skigin. In 1995 he made his international debut at the British Wexford Festival with Rimski-Korsakov’s “Mainacht” and in the same year at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden with “Nabucco”. Subsequently he was, among other things, First Kapellmeister of the Komische Oper Berlin (1997- 2001) and Music Director of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera (2001-2013). In 2003 Vladimir Jurowski was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and has been its Principal Conductor since 2007 and will stay on until summer 2021. He is also Artistic Director of the State Academic Symphony Orchestra Yevgeny Svetlanov of the Russian Federation until summer 2021, Artistic Director of the International George Enescu Festival in Bucharest and Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in Great Britain. He works regularly with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the ensemble unitedberlin. With the start of the 2021/2022 season, Vladimir Jurowski will take on one of the most prestigious roles in German musical life in addition to his engagement with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, by becoming General Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, a position for which he signed a contract in 2018.
Vladimir Jurowski is in high demand around the world as a guest conductor. He has conducted the major orchestras of Europe and North America, including the Berlin, Vienna and New York Philharmonic Orchestras, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. As a guest conductor, Vladimir Jurowski conducted Prokofiev’s “Semyon Kotko” with the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest of the Netherlands in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, made his debut at the Salzburg Easter Festival with the Staatskapelle Dresden, debuted with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, performed with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra at the Lucerne Festival and conducted a unique project with the London Sinfonietta in Moscow to mark the UK-Russian Year of Culture. Together with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin he performed in Japan in spring 2019 and at the George Enescu Festival in Bucharest in autumn 2019.
The first joint CD by Vladimir Jurowski and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin from 2015 immediately marked a milestone. Alfred Schnittke’s Symphony No. 3 was followed in 2017 by a Strauss/Mahler recording and a CD of violin concertos by Britten and Hindemith with soloist Arabella Steinbacher. In 2020, a critically acclaimed recording of Gustav Mahler’s “Das Lied von der Erde” was released.
Vladimir Jurowski has been the recipient of numerous awards for his achievements, including various international record prizes. In 2018, the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards named him Conductor of the Year. In 2016, he was bestowed an honorary doctorate from Prince Charles at the Royal College of Music in London. In 2020, Jurowski will be awarded the Order of Cultural Merit by the Romanian President in recognition of his work as Artistic Director of the George Enescu Festival.
Seong-Jin Cho - Piano
With an overwhelming talent and innate musicality, Seong-Jin Cho has made his mark as one of the consummate talents of his generation and most distinctive artists on the current music scene. His thoughtful and poetic, assertive and tender, virtuosic and colourful playing can combine panache with purity and is driven by an impressive natural sense of balance.
Highlights of Seong-Jin Cho’s 2020/21 season include his return the Berliner Philharmoniker with Ivan Fischer and debuts with the Münchner Philharmoniker and Valery Gergiev. A highly sought-after touring soloist, Cho embarks on several international tours, including those with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg and Gustavo Gimeno and the Budapest Festival Orchestra with Ivan Fischer. Recent and upcoming orchestral highlights include performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel, Boston Symphony Orchestra with Hannu Lintu, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra with Manfred Honeck, Mahler Chamber Orchestra with Jakub Hrůša and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra with Jaap Van Zweden.
An active recitalist very much in demand, Seong-Jin Cho performs in many of the world’s most prestigious concert halls including the main stage of Carnegie Hall as part of the Keyboard Virtuoso series, Concertgebouw Amsterdam in the Master Pianists series, Berliner Philharmonie Kammermusiksaal (Berliner Philharmoniker concert series), Konzerthaus Vienna, Suntory Hall Tokyo, Walt Disney Hall Los Angeles, Prinzregententheater Munich, Liederhalle Stuttgart, Festival International de piano de la Roque d’Anthéron, Verbier Festival, Gstaad Menuhin Festival and Rheingau Musik Festival. During the coming season he gives debut solo recitals at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées Paris, Festspielhaus Bregenz, Victoria Hall Geneva and Wigmore Hall.
Born in 1994 in Seoul, Seong-Jin Cho started learning the piano at the age of six and gave his first public recital aged 11. In 2009, he became the youngest-ever winner of Japan’s Hamamatsu International Piano Competition. In 2011, he won Third Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow at the age of 17. From 2012-2015 he studied with Michel Béroff at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris and is now based in Berlin.