Kissin and London Symphony Orchestra

Kissin and London Symphony Orchestra play Tchaikovsky

Part of Birmingham International Concert Season 2013/14

Wednesday 18th December

Symphony Hall Birmingham

London Symphony Orchestra

Michael Tilson Thomas conductor

Evgeny Kissin piano

Rimsky-Korsakov Dubinushka 4’
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No 1 32’
Prokofiev Symphony No 5 46’

Evgeny Kissin’s encore – Tchaikovsky – Waltz

The LSO have always brought out their best for guest conductors, but no one galvanises them quite like Tilson Thomas. The Arts Desk

Evgeny Kissin needs no introduction; the shock-headed prodigy has long since matured into a performer with unparalleled artistry and precision. Michael Tilson Thomas and the London Symphony Orchestra, meanwhile, rekindle an unforgettable partnership that stretches back over almost forty years.

This blend of virtuosity and understanding will be brought to a programme of music by some of the most renowned Russian composers; Tchaikovsky’s epic first concerto, Rimsky-Korsakov’s folk-inspired Dubinushka and Prokofiev’s ‘symphony of the greatness of the human spirit.’

World War II was still raging as Prokofiev composed his Symphony No 5 in a Soviet Union safe haven. This was a time of national elation, as the Soviet Union anticipated victory over Nazi Germany. As Prokofiev raised his baton to conduct the first performance of the symphony in January 1945, the audience could hear gunfire that celebrated the news that the army had crossed the River Vistula in its march into Germany.

Classic FM’s John Suchet says:

The legendary pianist Nicolai Rubinstein once declared to Tchaikovsky that his first piano concerto was ‘bad, trivial and vulgar’. Don’t let this put you off as Rubinstein was quick to change his mind.One of the first pieces of music to sell over a million recordings, it is edge-of-the-seat stuff, full of sweeping melodies and electrifying passages.



Review by Norman Stinchcombe, Birmingham Post:

Click here for full review

…     “Rimsky-Korsakov’s festive miniature Dubinushka was a tasty hors d’oeuvre but the main musical course was Prokofiev’s great wartime fifth symphony. This was a magnificent performance, the opening movement almost Mahlerian in its evocation of a world emerging from silence into bustling life. The scherzo was zany, frantic and brilliantly played with Andrew Marriner’s clarinet absolutely captivating. Tilson Thomas, like just about every conductor except Dorati, took the adagio slower than Prokofiev’s metronome marking but, given his epic approach to the symphony, it was still very intense and moving. The finale – socialist realism meets the Marx Brothers – was uproarious.”