BBC Symphony Orchestra plays Elgar, ShostakovichThe BBC Symphony Orchestra, one of the leading orchestras in Great Britain, is performing with cellist Jian Wang at Seongnam Arts Center on Saturday and pianist Lim Dong-hyeok at Seoul Arts Center on Sunday.
The orchestra is the backbone of the BBC series of Promenade Festivals which take place every year at London’s Royal Albert Hall. “The Proms” as they are called is one of the biggest classical music festivals in the world and the last nights tend to be legendary occasions. The BBC Symphony Orchestra makes at least a dozen appearances each year and always plays on the last night.
The orchestra is known for its repertoire of 20th century and contemporary music. Since it was founded by Adrian Boult in 1930, it has performed the premieres of over 1,000 pieces by modern classical composers including Bartok, Britten, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Hindemith, Holst and Williams.
Jiri Belohlavek became chief conductor designate of the orchestra at the first night of the proms this July. Czech-born Jiri Belohlavek studied at the Prague Conservatory and Arts Academy, and was appointed chief conductor of the Prague Symphony in 1977 and led the orchestra till 1989. Later he was the music director of the Czech Philharmonic between 1990 and 1992.
He conducted major orchestras including Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Vienna Symphony, BBC Symphony, and the NHK Symphony.
Jian Wang, born in Shanghai in 1968 to a musical family, learned violin from his father at the age of four. The highlight of his concert will be Elgar’s Cello Concert in E minor, Opus 85. Wang entered the Shanghai Conservatory at nine. He was discovered by legendary violinist Isaac Stern when Stern came to China in June 1979 to help film a documentary, “From Mao to Mozart.” Wang played the cello for Stern, who twenty years later described Wang as “one of the finest young instrumentalists of our time.” Stern helped the child prodigy study at Yale and Julliard. In 2005 and 2006, Wang has performed with many top orchestras including the NHK Symphony.
Lim Dong-hyeok, born in Seoul in 1984, started playing the piano at seven and went to Russia to become a pupil at the Moscow Central Music School.
The highlight of his performance is expected to be Shostakovich’s Symphony No.5 in D minor, Opus 47. Lim won the International Busoni Piano Competition in Italy in 2000 and the Premier Grand Prix at the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition in Paris in December 2001. He has performed with prestigious orchestras including the French Radio Philharmonic.
by Limb Jae-un
Ticket prices for the Seongnam Arts Center at 5 p.m. on Saturday range from 40,000 won to 150,000 won, and at the Seoul Arts Center at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday tricket prices range from 30,000 won to 160,000 won.