Petr Popelka & Pierre-Laurent Aimard
Concerto for piano and orchestra op. 42
Symphony No. 1 in D major
Petr Popelka - Conductor
Within a very short time, Petr Popelka has made a name for himself as one of the most inspiring conductors of his generation. The Czech has been Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra since the 2022/2023 season and Chief Conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra in Oslo since August 2020.
In the 2022/2023 season, he will make his debut with the Gewandhaus Orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, SWR Symphony Orchestra, WDR Symphony Orchestra, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Orchestra sinfonica nazionale della RAI, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, among others, and return to the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, Vienna Symphony Orchestra (TV concert “Spring in Vienna”), Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. A new production of Strauss’ “Elektra” takes him to the Oslo Opera and Shostakovich’s “Nose” back to the Semperoper Dresden. Together with his orchestras from Prague and Oslo, he will also perform Schoenberg’s monumental “Gurre-Lieder.” Previous debuts have taken him to the Czech Philharmonic, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie and Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, among others.
In the 2019/2020 season, Petr Popelka was the first Conductor Fellow of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. He received important conducting impulses from Vladimir Kiradjiev and Alan Gilbert, having devoted more time to conducting since 2016. He received his musical education in his hometown Prague and in Freiburg. From 2010 to 2019, he was deputy principal double bass of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden. In addition to conducting, composing occupies an important position in Petr Popelka’s artistic work.
Pierre-Laurent Aimard - Piano
Widely acclaimed as a key figure in the music of our time, Pierre-Laurent Aimard has had close collaborations with many leading composers including György Ligeti, Karlheinz Stockhausen, George Benjamin, Pierre Boulez and Oliver Messiaen.
Aimard begins the 2022/23 season receiving Denmark’s most prominent music award, the Leonie Sonning Music Prize 2022 which will be celebrated in a series of concerts with Royal Danish Orchestra/Cambreling and recitals in Copenhagen and Aarhus. Elsewhere he continues to work closely with leading orchestras and conductors across Europe including Antwerp Symphony/Herreweghe, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest/Deneve, Deutsche Symphony Orchester Berlin/Chan, Orchestre National de Lille/Bloc and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. He continues his collaboration with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen, recording Bartok’s complete piano concertos due for release in Autumn 2023, and returns to the Los Angeles Philharmonic for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.4.
In celebration of György Ligeti’s 100th Anniversary in 2023, Aimard will perform works by the composer in collaborations throughout the season, including, Seoul Philharmonic/Robertson for his Concerto for Piano; acclaimed German Jazz pianist, Michael Wollny on an improvisatory project around the Etudes and continuing to celebrate the composer through his unique recital programming.
In other chamber projects, highlights include collaborations with Tamara Stefanovich for Visions de l’Amen at the Boulez Saal and continued partnerships with Mark Simpson and Jean-Guihen Queyras for trio recitals including works by Lachenmann in Luxembourg and Vienna. Together with Isabelle Faust and Jorg Widmann, Aimard joins Queryas for Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du temps touring the work across Spain in the Autumn.
Orchestral successes of the 2021/22 season included collaborations with Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France/Chung, Munich Philharmonic/Nagano, Bamberg Symphoniker/Honeck, Seattle Symphony Orchestra/Stasevska, hr-Sinfonieorchester/Altinoglu, Vienna Symphony/Afkham and the World Premiere of Klaus Ospald’s concerto with WDR/Poppe. In recital and chamber projects, Aimard continued to champion contemporary composers, performing works by Birtwistle, Lachenmann, Cage, Schoenberg and Andre in Berlin, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt as well as Messiaen’s colossal Vingt Regards in Paris and Amsterdam. In the UK highlights included Saffron Walden for Bach’s Well Tempered Klavier and the Edinburgh Festival to perform his Fantasy recital programme.
Having recently released a new disc of Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata and Eroica Variations for Pentatone to great critical acclaim, Aimard releases a new recording of Visions de l’Amen with Tamara Stefanovich in September 2022. Recent seasons have also included Messiaen’s opus magnum Catalogue d’oiseaux which was honoured with multiple awards including the prestigious German music critic’s award “Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik.” Aimard has also performed the world premieres of piano works by Kurtág at Teatro alla Scala; Carter’s last piece Epigrams, which was written for him; Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s works Responses; Sweet disorder and the carefully careless and Keyboard Engine for two pianos which received its London premiere in autumn 2019.
Through his professorship at the Hochschule Köln as well as numerous series of concert lectures and workshops worldwide, Aimard sheds an inspiring light on music of all periods. He was previously an Associate Professor at the College de France, Paris and is a member of Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste. In spring 2020, he re-launched a major online resource Explore the Score, after several years work, which centres on the performance and teaching of Ligeti’s piano music in collaboration with the Klavier-Festival Ruhr.