WHAT’S ON OCTOBER: Barry Douglas joins the Russian State Symphony Orchestra for all-Russian programme at Usher Hall
Usher Hall gets its new Sunday Classics season off to a roaring start with some of the finest Russian music from one of the nation’s standout orchestras
Tickets range from £13.50 – £35, £10 student tickets are also available and under 16s can get a free ticket when booked with an adult.
A mighty all-Russian programme from one of Russia’s foremost orchestras kicks off the Usher Hall’s 2018-19 Sunday Classics concerts in spectacular style. The Russian State Symphony Orchestra will take audiences on a spellbinding journey of heart-stopping romance; mischievous wit; and one of the most moving tales in the whole of ballet. They will be joined in part from the world-renowned Belfast pianist, Barry Douglas.
The Moscow-based orchestra has a peerless pedigree in the stirring, deeply expressive music of its homeland, with a rich, noble sound that’s matched by the players’ incisive energy. Under conductor Valentin Uryupin, one of the most exciting young talents emerging from Russia’s fiercely competitive classical world, it’s a force to be reckoned with.
Uryupin and his Orchestra open with the unforgettable melancholy of one of the world’s best-loved ballet scores: Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. The dancers at the ballet’s premiere in 1877 protested at the piece’s difficulty to dance to – it was too rich and extensive to complement their movement. Despite this, today the piece is adored the world-over.
The Orchestra will also be joined by the multi-award-winning Belfast-born pianist Barry Douglas, who famously won the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition back in 1986 and has forged a global career with his remarkable mix of muscular power and exquisite poetry. His musical talents also extend away from the classical music world with his work with Celtic Orbit – a group he set up to play traditional music from Scotland, Ireland and Brittany.
He’s the soloist in Shostakovich’s sunny, funny Second Piano Concerto, a touching birthday present from the composer to his 19-year-old son, which sandwiches a soulful, dreamy slow movement between two movements of sparkling wit and vivacious energy. It’s one of the composer’s standout works, and is a departure from much of his music that is often characterised by angst, fear and defiance in response to the oppression that he experienced under the communist regime. Shostakovich himself visited the Usher Hall in 1962 as part of the Edinburgh International Festival, and his music has been welcome addition to any programme in the venue ever since.
The afternoon of music closes with the overwhelming opulence of Rachmaninov’s epic Second Symphony, overflowing with outpourings of ecstatic melody, and charting a passionate journey through breath-taking romance to blazing triumph.
Sunday 14 Oct 2018, 3pm
Usher Hall, Lothian Road, Edinburgh
Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Valentin Uryupin Conductor
Barry Douglas Piano
Tchaikovsky Swan Lake Suite
Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 2
Rachmaninov Symphony No. 2
Tickets available at www.usherhall.co.uk
£35 | £29 | £24 | £18 | £13.50
Full time students are entitled to tickets for £10 which can be booked in advance
Under 16s are entitled to free tickets when booked with a paying adult
**Please note a £1.50 transaction fee applies on the overall booking when purchasing online or over the phone (non-refundable)**