Rising star conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla returns with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra to the Royal Albert Hall, setting Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony against a world premiere by Gerald Barry. Leila Josefowicz excels as the soloist in Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto.
Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla is the first female conductor to take over one of the world’s leading orchestras: Together with the CBSO, the young Music Director from Lithuania – “on the podium a combination of flamboyance and steely poise” (Financial Times) – explores the theme of political and artistic freedom in their concert: Beethoven’s Overture “Leonore” No. 3, written for his rescue opera Fidelio, celebrates the triumph of truth over tyranny in music of radiant beauty while his Fifth Symphony rewrites the rules for the Classical symphony.
Embedded in Beethoven’s seminal works is Stravinsky’s neoclassical masterpiece, his Violin Concerto in D major, which was originally deemed unplayable. The brilliant and fierce solo part is interpreted by none other than the Canadian violin virtuoso Leila Josefowicz. With her strong personality and enthusiasm, “the ever-magnetic” (The Guardian) former child prodigy brings all layers of Stravinsky’s piece to life.
The night’s programme is completed by a world premiere: Canada, the new work by maverick composer Gerald Barry, is inspired by revolutionary events in Canada’s history and sets the text from Fidelio’s “Prisoners’ Chorus”, interpreted here by the English tenor Allan Clayton, in a new context. “Irresistible!” (The Guardian)