Czech Philharmonic

Postcards Home

A double helping of Dvořák – including his homesick postcard home ‘From the New World’ – frames Shostakovich’s pithy concerto as the mighty Czech Philharmonic returns.

Dvořák Symphonic Variations
Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1
Dvořák Symphony No. 9 From the New World

Conductor Tomáš Netopil*
Cello Alisa Weilerstein

Money talks. And when Jeanette Thurber made Dvořák an offer he couldn’t refuse the composer upped sticks to take over New York’s National Conservatory. One of the fruits was a symphony that entwines Old World Bohemian rhapsody and New World hustle and bustle in a work that instantly beguiled. Slower to make its way was the infinitely supple Symphonic Variations now ranked alongside Brahms’ ‘Haydn’ or Elgar’s ‘Enigma’, and which pave the way to a concerto with Shostakovich’s name, (musically encoded as DSCH) all over it – literally.

To play the concerto is a cellist described by Seen and Heard International as “incendiary”; Alisa Weilerstein’s Shostakovich, moreover, harbours a “deep, dark intensity” (The Chicago Tribune).

*This concert was originally to be conducted by Czech Philharmonic’s inspirational and much-loved chief conductor Jiří Bělohlávek who sadly passed away in May 2017. Tomáš Netopil has been appointed to conduct  this concert. Netopil has worked with the Czech Philharmonic a great deal and was on e of Jiří Bělohlávek’s pupils and assistants who has in recent years conducted the Berlin Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Dresden Staatskapelle and many other major orchestras.

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Pre-concert lecture

The Lantern – 18:25
Music educator and conductor Jonathan James interviews one of the world’s leading concert cellist Alisa Weilerstein ahead of her performance of Shostakovich’s concerto.

Chamber concert

Stephen Johnson & English Piano Trio
Tue 6 Feb 2018, The Lantern, 7.30pm
Tickets: £8, or £5 incl. booking fee when bought with a ticket to this concert

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