Behzod Abduraimov, piano

English Chamber Orchestra

A tale of two cities: Abduraimov plays Beethoven

Wednesday 22 May 2019, 19:30

Prices from £15.00 to £45.00

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Stravinsky Concerto in D major for String Orchestra (Basel)

Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1 in C, Op. 15*

Mozart Rondo for Piano and Orchestra in D, K. 382

Mozart Symphony No. 38 in D, K. 504 (Prague)


English Chamber Orchestra

Behzod Abduraimov piano/director*

Stephanie Gonley director

Mozart loved Prague, and audiences there loved him right back! In return, he wrote them a symphony like no other – rich, grand and filled with simply glorious melodies. It’s an inspired counterpart for the brilliantly witty ‘Concerto’ that Igor Stravinsky wrote in 1946 for the chamber orchestra run by his friend Paul Sacher in the Swiss city of Basel. Snappy, sophisticated and unashamedly entertaining, it’s the musical equivalent of a dry martini. Like Mozart’s symphony, this is music created for audiences with a sense of humour – and who expect the best.

So that’s why the English Chamber Orchestra invited Behzod Abduraimov to perform again with them tonight, directing Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto from the keyboard. You might already have heard the buzz about this phenomenal young Uzbek pianist: in the words of one critic, he’s ‘a super-virtuoso capable of real, delicate musicality’. But it’s his personal energy – the combination of super-charged skill and poetic freshness that makes him perfect for Beethoven’s blend of epic grandeur with pure youthful sunshine.

On top of all that, Mozart’s playful Rondo is a delightful bonus – a rarely heard jewel, crafted by Mozart from the same graceful, ingenious spirit that make his comic operas such irresistible fun. As one critic commented, Abduraimov ‘is a pianist who has it all’, and with his ‘silky delicacy, mighty thunder-power, rare clarity and the ability to draw a remarkable variety of tonal colours from the instrument’ could have been born to play it.

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