Gala concert at the opening of the season

Metamorphosis

Sept. 6, 2020
2 p.m.
Zusatztermin

Ayanna Witter-Johnson

»Fanfare for the Brave« for brass ensemble and percussion

Igor Strawinsky

Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments (1923-24)

Ayanna Witter-Johnson

»Unconditionally« for voice, oboe, strings and percussion (2020)

Richard Strauss

»Metamorphosen« (1945), study for 23 solo strings

»Everything is in transformation«, thus an approximate translation of the title of Richard Strauss’ Metamorphosen. This is also true of the Gürzenich Orchestra’s concert season, which has undergone further change to accommodate current distancing rules. The »Study for 23 Solo Strings« which Richard Strauss wrote in 1945, still under the impression of World War II, is a work of grief and farewell. In the context of the season opening gala concert, however, it also represents a hopeful launch of a season of transformations. The tradition of the piano concerto was transformed by Igor Stravinsky by eschewing string instruments while sticking to classical form – thereby creating a fascinating new sound with a wind orchestra in which baroque and modern sounds mingle cheerfully.

Yuja Wang, who was scheduled to perform the season opening concert, has been forced by travel restrictions to cancel all her concerts in Europe at short notice.
»With a heavy heart, I am forced to cancel my concerts with the Gürzenich Orchestra in Cologne in September. I had been looking forward so much to returning to the stage. Now, the current travel and quarantine regulations in place because of the coronavirus pandemic make it impossible for me to play these concerts. I cannot wait to share music live again with all of you. Stay healthy!«

We are delighted to announce that Bertrand Chamayou has agreed to take on the piano part in Stravinsky’s Piano Concerto at short notice. Bertrand Chamayou is the only artist to win the French award »Victoires de la Musique« four times, and audiences around the world celebrate his interpretations. His repertoire ranges from classical to contemporary music, and critics have hailed him for »a level of musical intelligence and dexterity only truly great pianists command« (Le Figaro).

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