Concert Program

Rach 3

Friday 1 Mar 2024 7:30pm
Federation Concert Hall, nipaluna / Hobart

From the Federation Concert Hall Series

Conducted by Eivind Aadland,
featuring Yeol Eum Son on piano.
Yeol Eum Son

The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra acknowledges the traditional owners and continuing custodians of lutruwita / Tasmania. We pay respect to the Aboriginal community today, and to its Elders past and present. We recognise a history of truth, which acknowledges the impacts of colonisation upon Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and stand for a future that profoundly respects their stories, culture, language and history.

About the concert

Works

Mary Finsterer Lumen prime aurore (5 min)

Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 3 in D minor, Op 30 (42 min)

3 movements:

  1. Allegro ma non tanto
  2. Intermezzo: Adagio
  3. Finale: Alla breve

20 minute interval

Tchaikovsky Symphony No 6 in B minor, Op 74, ‘Pathétique’ (46 min)

4 movements:

  • Adagio – Allegro non troppo
  • Allegro con grazia
  • Allegro molto vivace
  • Adagio lamentoso

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A 'movement' is a longer piece of music broken up into bite-size pieces. It makes it easier to perform and provides contrast within the work. Find out more here.

Rachmaninov reading sheet music.

Rachmaninov reading sheet music.

Concert 101: Learn about the works being performed

For the enjoyment of all in the concert hall, please only watch Concert 101 before or after the performance. 

Uncover the stories behind the works.

Light at First Dawn

Lumen prime aurore

Composed by Mary Finsterer (1962–)

5 minutes

Composed by one of Australia's preeminent composers, Mary Finsterer, Lumen prime aurore (meaning "Light at first dawn") gives us a mediative beginning to the concert.

In Finsterer's words:

"The title of my music takes inspiration from the poignant poem about wisdom, creation and light by Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), O verbum Patris [O Word of the Father].

Lumen prime aurore translates as ‘first dawn’s light’, a theme directly related to the research that I undertook for my opera about Antarctica where, within the South Polar Circle, a miraculous display of colourful lights known as the aurora is created when electrically charged particles from solar winds interact with meteorological gases when they enter the Earth’s atmosphere.

In this music, my aim is to capture the beauty of Hildegard’s writings and the wonderment of this mysterious phenomenon that graces the skies of Earth’s southernmost continent."

Rach 3

Piano Concerto No 3 in D minor, Op 30

  • Allegro ma non tanto
  • Intermezzo: Adagio
  • Finale: Alla breve

Composed by Sergei Rachmaninov (1873–1943)

42 minutes

Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto is the Mount Everest of the piano concerto repertoire, and scaling its formidable peak is Yeol Eum Son, the international superstar who wowed Tasmanian audiences with her performance of Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto in 2022.

Composed in 1909, this concerto is widely regarded as one of the most technically challenging piano concertos in the standard classical repertoire. It is a piece that combines profound musical depth with virtuosic fireworks, making it a favourite among pianists and audiences alike.

Sergei Rachmaninov, born in Russia in 1873, was not only a brilliant composer but also one of the most renowned pianists of his time. His long fingers and incredible technique at the keyboard are mirrored in the demanding passages of his compositions.

Not only a world-renowned composer,

Rachmaninov also held his own on stage

as a great conductor and pianist.

Rachmaninov

Rachmaninov sitting at the piano.

The third concerto was written on the eve of Rachmaninov's first concert tour of America. It was a time of great change and uncertainty for the composer, as he was about to leave his homeland, perhaps forever, for the New World. The concerto, therefore, is a complex mix of nostalgia, homesickness, and the excitement of embarking on a new adventure.

The concerto is structured traditionally in three movements:

Allegro ma non tanto:

The first movement opens quietly with a simple melody played by the piano. This melody is like a seed that grows and blossoms throughout the movement. The orchestra introduces its own themes, but the piano soon takes the lead, weaving these melodies into a rich, lush tapestry of sound. The movement features a series of technically demanding passages, showcasing the soloist's skill and dexterity.

Get a feel for the piece by listening to this recording:

Intermezzo: Adagio:

The second movement serves as a bridge between the vigorous first and third movements. It begins with a soft, lyrical theme in the strings, creating a mood of introspection and contemplation. The piano enters delicately, adding its voice to the dialogue. This movement is noted for its quiet beauty and emotional depth. It's like a moment of calm in the eye of a storm, offering a brief respite before the concerto surges forward.

Finale: Alla breve:

The third movement is a whirlwind of energy and technical prowess. It starts with a sense of urgency and never lets up. The piano and orchestra engage in a thrilling chase, racing towards the concerto's climactic finish. This movement is famous for its challenging cadenza – a solo passage where the pianist has the opportunity to showcase their technical skill and emotional expressiveness. Rachmaninov actually wrote two versions of this cadenza: one is dazzling and flashy, while the other is more introspective and lyrical. Pianists choose which one to play based on their personal interpretation of the piece.

Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 3 is a masterpiece that demands the utmost from its performers. It's a piece that combines technical brilliance with deep emotional resonance. The concerto is not just about the notes on the page; it's about the human experience – the struggle, the passion, and the triumph. For the audience, witnessing a performance of this concerto is an unforgettable experience. It's a journey through a landscape of human emotion, painted with the bold strokes of Rachmaninov's musical genius.

Harrison's Centrifuge

Holly Harrison & the TSO

Holly Harrison

Sydney-based award-winning composer Holly Harrison has a long and growing history with the TSO. Selected for the two-year TSO Australian Composer School program in 2018, Harrison shone bright enough to garner a special extension of the program, becoming our first Composer in Residence from 2020-21.

During this period Harrison composed five works for a variety of TSO ensembles, including two for the full orchestra. The last of these works is Centrifuge, which we're delighted to premiere in this concert.

 

Centrifuge (17 min)

Centrifuge is the last in a series of works written for the TSO by Holly Harrison during her time as composer in residence.

 

Centrifuge is inspired by the sounds of demolition, an MRI machine, and the idea of spinning or circling at different rates. As I began writing the work, demolition began next door. The more I listened, the more I detected rhythmic patterns in the thudding and crushing of excavators and dozers.

At the same time, I had an MRI scan and though I had heard that the machine would be loud, nothing could prepare me for the incessant banging and whirring. As the machine beeped and stuttered, soothing piano strains from the offered headphones could faintly be heard across the top.

The idea for each movement is predominately texture driven, where large slabs of sounds are contrasted with threads that peek through, only to be swallowed up again. This happens at different rates across each movement, starting ferociously in the first and stretching into a type of slow-motion in the final movement. The second movement takes on a ballad-like blues form, with violin as soloist, while the third embraces disco influences, underpinned by groovy bass.

In a true centrifugal way, musical material from each movement spins outwards into the next.

Holly Harrison, composer

 

'Pathétique' & Poignant

Symphony No 6 in B minor, Op 74, ‘Pathétique’

  • Adagio – Allegro non troppo
  • Allegro con grazia
  • Allegro molto vivace
  • Adagio lamentoso

Composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893)

46 minutes

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Symphony No 6 in B minor, Op. 74, known as the "Pathétique," is not merely a symphony but a poignant narrative of emotion and human expression.

Composed in 1893, just days before the composer's mysterious and sudden death, the symphony is often viewed through the lens of Tchaikovsky's personal turmoil and struggles, making it one of the most emotionally intense pieces in the classical music repertoire.

Tchaikovsky himself called it "the best thing I ever composed or shall compose," declaring his deep connection to this work.

The symphony was premiered in Saint Petersburg under the baton of the composer himself, only nine days before his death, adding a layer of tragic finality to the piece. The name Pathétique (meaning "passionate" or "emotional" in French) perfectly encapsulates the essence of this symphony.

A symphony is traditionally structured in four movements, but Tchaikovsky’s Sixth breaks away from convention in both form and emotional content:

Adagio - Allegro non troppo:

The first movement begins with a slow, haunting introduction, setting a sombre and introspective mood. This is followed by a passionate, yet melancholic theme that dominates the movement. The music swells and recedes, much like the waves of a tumultuous sea, reflecting deep emotions and inner turmoil.

Allegro con grazia:

The second movement, in a dance-like 5/4 time, feels like a wistful remembrance of happier times. Its grace and elegance contrast with the first movement, offering a brief respite from the emotional intensity. However, the beauty is tinged with a sense of melancholy, a reminder that joy is often fleeting.

Allegro molto vivace:

The third movement is vigorous and full of life. It is the most straightforward and optimistic of all the movements. The music is energetic and dynamic, with a triumphant tone that might suggest a victorious ending to the symphony. However, Tchaikovsky surprises us, as this burst of energy serves as a counterpoint to the depth and introspection that follows.

Finale: Adagio lamentoso:

The final movement returns to the deep, emotional introspection of the first movement. The music is heart-wrenching and full of despair. The symphony does not end on a note of triumph but instead concludes with a profound and unsettling sense of finality. The movement fades away, leaving the listener in a state of contemplation and awe.

Tchaikovsky's Symphony No 6 is a journey through the human soul, exploring the depths of despair, the fleeting nature of joy, and the complexity of our emotions. The "Pathétique" is not just a piece of music; it's an emotional experience that resonates with the listener long after the last note has faded away. The symphony's beauty lies in its ability to connect with the listener on a deeply personal level, making it one of the most beloved and profound pieces in the classical repertoire. Tchaikovsky's genius in crafting this symphony ensures that it remains a timeless masterpiece, speaking directly to the heart of every listener.

Musicians

Eivind Aadland

Chief Conductor & Artistic Director

Supported by Anonymous

Image

Eivind Aadland is one of Norway’s most respected conductors. Since 2020 he has been Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. He was Chief Conductor and Artistic Leader of the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra for seven seasons from 2004, during which time he conducted the complete Beethoven and Mahler symphony cycles. His extensive work with Scandinavian orchestras includes regular guest engagements with the Oslo and Bergen Philharmonics, the Stavanger Symphony, the Gothenburg Symphony and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. In addition, he has conducted acclaimed productions of Don Giovanni, Le nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte and Die Fledermaus for Den Norske Opera, Oslo.

He has also worked extensively in the Far East and Australia. He is a frequent visitor to the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, the National Orchestra of Belgium and Iceland Symphony Orchestra. He has also worked with Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, Gürzenich-Orchester Cologne, Strasbourg Philharmonic, Lausanne and Scottish Chamber Orchestras and the symphony orchestras of Melbourne, Finnish Radio, Bamberg, Staatskapelle Weimar, SWR Stuttgart and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his career as a conductor, Eivind Aadland is a devoted collector of, and authority on, contemporary art. His private collection encompasses works in the diverse media of painting, photography, video and installation.

 

Yeol Eum Son

Solo Pianist

Supported by Anonymous

Yeol Eum Son

Pianist Yeol Eum Son, born in South Korea, in 1986, is renowned for her exceptional artistry and captivating performances. From a young age, she displayed remarkable talent, beginning piano lessons at just three-and-a-half years old.

Yeol Eum's playing is marked by its poetic elegance, nuanced expressiveness, and a gift for conveying dramatic contrasts. Her artistry is underpinned by breathtaking technical prowess and a deep emotional connection to the music she interprets. She possesses an insatiable curiosity that drives her to explore a diverse range of musical genres and styles, always striving to reveal the pure essence of each piece.

Her extensive repertoire spans classical masterpieces by composers such as Bach and Mozart to contemporary works by Shchedrin and Kapustin, chosen for their quality and depth. Yeol Eum Son is highly sought after as a recitalist, concerto soloist, and chamber musician, earning critical acclaim for her intelligent interpretations.

Throughout the 2022-23 season, Yeol Eum served as an Artist-in-Residence with the Residentie Orkest in The Hague, performing works by Mozart, Gershwin, Saint-Saëns, and Ravel. She made impressive debut appearances with renowned orchestras worldwide, including the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Her international reach extends to collaborations with esteemed orchestras like the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, BBC Philharmonic, and Budapest Festival Orchestra. Yeol Eum Son's discography features a range of remarkable recordings, including Mozart's Complete Piano Sonatas, hailed as Classic FM's Album of the Week in March 2023. Her repertoire also includes works by Berg, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Ravel and Schumann.

Yeol Eum Son has captivated audiences worldwide with her boundless artistic exploration and profound musicality, establishing herself as one of the foremost pianists of her generation. After an unforgettable performance of Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto with us in 2022, we’re thrilled to welcome Yeol Eum back to Tasmania and with your orchestra.

Orchestra List

Violin

Ji Won Kim Concertmaster

Jennifer Owen Associate Concertmaster 

Lucy Carrig-Jones Principal Second

Susanna Low Principal First

Natalya Bing

Miranda Carson 

Yue-Hong Cha 

Tobias Chisnall

Frances Davies

Belinda Gehlert

Edwina George 

Michael Johnston 

Elinor Lea

Phoebe Masel

Christopher Nicholas

Rohana O’Malley 

Hayato Simpson

Grace Thorpe

Viola

Caleb Wright Principal

Douglas Coghill 

Anna Larsen Roach 

Rodney McDonald

William Newbery

Ariel Postmus

Cello

Jonathan Békés Principal

Alexandra Békés

Ivan James 

Nicholas McManus 

Martin Penicka

Sophie Radke

Double Bass

Stuart Thomson Principal

Marian Heckenberg

Matthew McGrath

Adrian Whitehall

Flute

Rosie Gallagher Guest Principal

Rachel Howie

Lloyd Hudson Principal Piccolo

Oboe

Eve Newsome Guest Principal

Dinah Woods Principal Cor Anglais

Clarinet

Andrew Seymour Principal

Eloise Fisher Principal Bass Clarinet

Bassoon

Tahnee van Herk Principal

Evan Lewis Guest Principal Contrabassoon

French Horn

Greg Stephens Principal

Claudia Leggett Principal

Jules Evans

Roger Jackson

Julian Leslie

Trumpet

Shane Hooton Guest Principal

Mark Bain

Trombone

David Robins Principal

Jackson Bankovic

Bass Trombone

James Littlewood Guest Principal

Tuba

Tim Buzbee Guest Principal

Timpani

Matthew Goddard Principal

Percussion

Gary Wain Principal

Stephen Marskell

Celeste

Karen Smithies Guest Principal

*Correct at time of publishing

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Photo credit: Fin Matson

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A 'movement' is a longer piece of music broken up into bite-size pieces. It makes it easier to perform and provides contrast within the work. Find out more here.

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Alexander Gavrylyuk

Coming up at federation concert hall

ALEXANDER GAVRYLYUK

Friday 15 Mar 2024 7:30pm

Grieg Norsk, Op 53 No 1; Kulokk and Stabbelåten, Op 63 No 2
Grieg
Piano Concerto in A minor, Op 16
Sibelius
Symphony No 3 in C, Op 52
Sibelius
Finlandia, Op 26

Find Out More
Alexander Gavrylyuk

Coming up at Federation Concert Hall

ALEXANDER GAVRYLYUK

Friday 15 Mar 2024 7:30pm

Grieg Norsk, Op 53 No 1; Kulokk and Stabbelåten, Op 63 No 2
Grieg
Piano Concerto in A minor, Op 16
Sibelius
Symphony No 3 in C, Op 52
Sibelius
Finlandia, Op 26

Find Out More

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