This season marks the 80th anniversary of one of our four Resident Orchestras, the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO).
To celebrate this important milestone the Orchestra presents a season of diverse and vibrant concerts. As part of this season you can hear major contributions to two exciting Southbank Centre projects – War & Peace in autumn 2012 and the 2013 year-long multi-artform festival The Rest Is Noise, based on Alex Ross’ book. Throughout The Rest Is Noise the Orchestra will chronologically chart seminal works of the 20th century set against their historical and political context.
Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor Vladimir Jurowski plays a key role during the season. In recent years the Russian maestro has established himself and the Orchestra as leaders in their field, with The Telegraph recently remarking, ‘Under Jurowski the LPO has become a fabulously refined instrument.’
Renowned for his thought-provoking and beautifully crafted programmes, Jurowski reveals that the opening concert of the 2012/13 season ‘incorporates the wonderful opera by Alexander Zemlinsky, A Florentine Tragedy, which I’ve always wanted to bring to London in one form or another. And we will combine it with Richard Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten.’ Meanwhile Jurowski’s second concert is an all-Russian affair, based around a theme of bells, with music from Rachmaninov to Shchedrin. Of the latter composer Jurowski explains, ‘[Shchedrin] is also celebrating his 80th birthday in 2012 so I’m very pleased we’re playing a piece of his from the 1960s, which was quite a radical period in his music career.’
The conductor continues: ‘A project I am also particularly looking forward to is the concert of Nono, Schoenberg and Beethoven. The programme includes Schoenberg’s Ode to Napoleon Bonaparte and A Survivor from Warsaw, which are both as powerful as ever. We also play Luigi Nono’s Julius Fučik, which is about the assassination of the Czech communist of the same name by the Nazis during the war. It’s quite a harsh piece, but at the same time extremely emotional and I think it will also shed a new light on Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.’
Jurowski is heavily involved in The Rest Is Noise and one of the highlights will undoubtedly be his interpretation of Kurt Weill’s The Threepenny Opera, a surrealistic and provocative work combining 18th-century ballad texts, European dance music and American jazz. ‘We are joined by a lot of very, very famous opera singers for this, such as Mark Padmore, Sir John Tomlinson and Dame Felicity Palmer,’ says Jurowski. ‘There’s also an equally brilliant cabaret artist, Meow Meow joining us.’
It’s exciting times too for the Orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who is rapidly becoming one of the most sought after conductors of his generation. With the LPO he performs two concerts early on in the season featuring works by Haydn and Richard Strauss. Then in 2013 he returns for The Rest Is Noise, including a performance of one of the most influential masterpieces of the 20th century – Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. First performed in 1913, this performance marks its centenary year.
Not forgetting its ongoing commitment to championing new music, the Orchestra gives the UK premiere of the Australian composer Carl Vine’s Piano Concerto No.2 on 17 October 2012, performed by the composer’s compatriot Piers Lane.
WHERE AND WHEN
Find all the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s concerts, including those in the War & Peace series.