Boston Symphony Orchestra

Andris Nelsons, conductor
Adolphe / Gershwin / Stravinsky

The Boston Symphony Orchestra presents a programme of American music at the Philharmonie Berlin. With his “Concerto in F” George Gershwin expanded the classical repertoire into the domain of jazz. The work of Los Angeles-based composer Julia Adolphe is music we have yet to discover here. Only Igor Stravinsky’s ballet score “Petrushka” was written in Central Europe, long before Stravinsky found a new home for himself in the USA.

Chairs and tables of a café shimmer through a tarpaulin

Venedig 1988

© Estate of Sibylle Bergemann / OSTKREUZ / Courtesy Loock Galerie

19:10, South Foyer
Work introduction

“If you don’t swing,” says Jean-Yves Thibaudet, then “you can’t play the Concerto in F.” Ultimately this work that is heralded with the pulsating rhythms of the Charleston “falls between two stools – classical and jazz.” The fact that Gershwin was at home in both these musical worlds is a particular attraction for the jazz-loving master pianist from France: “His music is boundless.” For more than three decades, Jean-Yves Thibaudet has thrilled concert audiences internationally with his unmistakable touch, richness of tone colours, sparkling virtuosity and poetic interpretations. Bringing Gershwin’s Piano Concerto with him for this guest performance in Berlin is a felicitous choice. Alongside him, Thibaudet has the Boston Symphony Orchestra, whose Music Director Andris Nelsons enthuses about this storied ensemble as one “of the best orchestras in the world.” In the second half of the concert, Nelsons, who himself can be seen as one of the most sought-after orchestral leaders of our time, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra will perform Igor Stravinsky’s burlesque “Petrushka”, which is dedicated to the “eternally unfortunate heroes of all carnivals in all countries” (Stravinsky). Its kaleidoscope-like music, which the congenial impresario Sergei Diaghilev presented on stage with his Ballets Russes, thrives on the interplay between short melodic and rhythmic building blocks and quotations that are repeated in ever new combinations. The evening opens with a highly dynamic orchestral work by the New York-born composer Julia Adolphe: “Makeshift Castle” which, in the composer’s words, “juxtaposes the fragility of life and the resilience of the human spirit.”

Julia Adolphe (*1988)
Makeshift Castle (2020 – 2022)

George Gershwin (1898 – 1937)
Concerto in F for piano and orchestra (1925)

Igor Stravinsky (1882 – 1971)
Petruchka (1910 – 1911, rev. 1946/47)
Burlesque in four scenes

A Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin event