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Slavonic Night: The MCO, Tugan Sokhiev and Viktoria Mullova in Santiago de Compostela and at the Music Festival Grafenegg

07-16-2010 10:03 AM CET | Arts & Culture

Press release from: Mahler Chamber Orchestra e.V.

The Mahler Chamber Orchestra’s (MCO) summer tour to Santiago de Compostela and Grafenegg will feature an all-Slavic programme under the direction of Tugan Sokhiev. The MCO has collaborated with the young Russian conductor several times: the first time in 2004 for a production of Prokofiev’s The Love For Three Oranges, which later appeared on DVD.

This summer’s programme features Alexander Borodin’s In the Steppes of Central Asia, Sergei Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto no. 2, and Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony no. 8. The soloist for the Prokofiev is Russian violinist Viktoria Mullova. Her extraordinary talent captured international attention when she won first prize at the 1980 Sibelius Competition in Helsinki and the Gold Medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1982. She soloed with the MCO in 2002 and 2003, both times under the baton of Principal Conductor Daniel Harding.

The first stop on the tour is the Via Stellae Festival in Santiago de Compostela, where the MCO last performed in 2008 and recorded the highly-acclaimed CD of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Janine Jansen. The second stop is the Austrian city of Grafenegg, where the MCO’s concert will be part of the annual Music Festival Grafenegg. As in the previous year, the MCO will play not only a symphony concert, but also a chamber music concert on the same day (24 July) as part of this summer residence.

The tour’s programme focuses on three Slavic composers whose works were created in a relatively short time span, 1880-1935. Like many composers of the later 19th century, they wrote music that reflected its country of origin by using folk songs, ballads and legends as inspiration. The Russian composer Alexander Borodin, a career chemist and a hobby composer, strove to depict a caravan’s journey to the steppes in his 1880 symphonic poem; his descriptive means included representative tunes for the Central Asian caravaners and their Russian guards. Sergei Prokofiev, also a Russian, used typical folk melodies in his Violin Concerto no. 2 (1935). The third movement features castanets, a surprising musical trip to Spain. Antonin Dvorak, lastly, is often credited with developing an unmistakable national style. Though Dvorak does not directly quote folk melodies in his 8th symphony, the work, like many others by him, is composed in a characteristically Bohemian idiom.

The evenings in Grafenegg and Santiago de Compostela mark the end of the MCO’s 2009/2010 season. The 2010/2011 season will start at the beginning of August with concerts at the LUCENRE FESTIVAL. More information about the performances can be found through the Season Calendar on our website.

The Mahler Chamber Orchestra (MCO), with its unusual structure, internationality and outstanding quality, is an ensemble unique to the present time. Its organisation and method of operation make it a model for the future of the European orchestral landscape. Composed of around 40 musicians from 20 different nations, and independent of external sponsorship, the MCO plays operas and concerts all over the world, in cities as well as at exclusive festivals from the North Pole to the Red Sea. The orchestra was founded in 1997 by the musicians themselves and Claudio Abbado, and the two have been reaching milestones of European musical life together ever since.

Merit Vareschi
Communications Manager
Mahler Chamber Orchestra e.V.
Hasenheide 54 / D-10967 Berlin
Phone + 49.30.41 71 79-21
Fax +49.30.41 71 79-29
Mobile +49.160.90 96 91 03
www.mahler-chamber.eu

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