Home Discover Luxembourg Upcoming Philharmonie Concerts – Yuja Wang and “A Night of Encores”

Upcoming Philharmonie Concerts – Yuja Wang and “A Night of Encores”

by Hannah Sroka

The Philharmonie’s upcoming concerts are a sign that life is slowly getting back to normal!

The first is on July 6 and will feature pianist Yuja Wang. Wang is originally from Beijing, but studied piano in Canada and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with Gary Graffman. Her first major performance was in 2007, when she filled in for Martha Argerich alongside the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Afterwards, she signed a contract with Deutsche Grammophon and released several critically acclaimed recordings. She was named Musical America’s Artist of the Year in 2017, and she performed with the OPL in its 2018/2019 as an artist in residence under the direction of Gustavo Gimeno. During the 2019/2020 season, the Barbican Center nominated her for their “Artist Spotlight”, and she performed a new piano concerto by John Adams called Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes? alongside the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and Gustavo Dudamel. In autumn 2019, she toured China with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and in early 2020, she toured Europe with cellist Gautier Capuçon.

Wang will be performing Mozart’s Klavierkonzert N° 20 KV 466 and Antonín Dvořák’s Symphonie N° 8. Klavierkonzert N° 20 KV 466 was composed in 1785, specifically during the months in which operatic performances were banned for Lent. In order to premiere his work, Mozart organized a subscription concert in the ballroom of a former flour warehouse. He had completed Klavierkonzert N° 20 KV 466 only the day before the concert, and during its premiere, he both played the piano part and conducted the orchestra. This meant that he didn’t have time to rehearse with the orchestra beforehand, so they had to figure the piece out onstage in front of a crowd of eager listeners, as Mozart was well-known for his compositions at the time.

A fun fact about this piece is that it’s one of two Mozart concertos to be written in a minor key. The minor key is often associated with things like tragedy, drama, anxiety, or terror, so both the soloist and the orchestra play melodies that are meant to evoke these emotions. The first movement, Allegro, has the main theme switching between the orchestra and the piano, with both parts contrasting and putting their own spin on the melody. The next movement is written in a major key and much more romantic and soothing than the Allegro section, but then the Allegro section comes back with a vengeance to wrap up the piece. It’s sure to be incredibly dynamic and captivating!

The other piece that Wang is performing is Antonín Dvořák’s Symphonie N° 8. Klavierkonzert N° 20 KV 466. It was composed in the summer of 1899 and premiered in winter 1890 in Prague. It was an instant success! The first allegro is in G major and has a solemn, nostalgic, and religious melody. The flutes play a countermelody to the main theme and sound like birds. Eventually, brass and percussion come in and makes the sound more epic and even heroic. The adagio alternates between C major and C minor, and ranges from serenely calm to intensely dramatic. The main theme is given to the woodwinds and a solo violin, before the brass join in for a pastoral finish. The Allegretto grazioso is a scherzo that’s light and fast, and calls back to themes heard earlier in the piece or from other works.

If you’re interested in this concert, click here for tickets!

The next concert we’re excited about is Kinnekswiss, and it’s on July 9! It’s called “A Night of Encores” and features Alena Baeva on the violin. It will be conducted by Gustavo Gimeno. The program consists of works from various centuries, artists, and genres: Nabucco: Sinfonia by Giuseppe Verdi, Cavalleria rusticana: Intermezzo sinfonico by Pietro Mascagni, Ungarischer Tanz WoO 1/1 and Ungarischer Tanz WoO 1/5 (arr. A. Parlow) by Johannes Brahms, Rosamunde, Fürstin von Zypern: Zwischenaktmusik N° 3 by Franz Schubert, Symphonie N° 7: 4. Allegro con brio by Ludwig van Beethoven, Introduction et Rondo capriccioso op. 28 by Camille Saint-Saëns, Pas de deux (Casse-Noisette / Der Nussknacker) by Piotr Ilitch Tchaïkovski, and L’Oiseau de feu (Der Feuervogel). Suite: Finale (version 1919) by Igor Stravinsky.

If you’re interested in this concert, click here for tickets!

In accordance with Luxembourg’s COVID-19 restrictions, you must show a certificate of either a vaccination or a negative test in order to be seated. You can also perform a test on-site if you are unable to get one beforehand. This concert does not have an intermission, nor is food offered, and you must wear a face mask the entire time.

We’re so excited about these concerts and the upcoming Philharmonie Season! Which OPL performance are you most looking forward to? Which ones are you attending? Let us know in the comments below!

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