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Aleix Palau | 5 May 2021

Violinist Daniel Hope and conductor Anja Bihlmaier: two star guests joining the OBC

They will be performing the colossal Concertino for Violin by Mieczysław Weinberg and ‎Symphony No. 4 by Robert Schumann.‎
Saturday 8 May at 7 pm and Sunday 9 May at 11 am in Sala 1, Pau Casals at L'Auditori de ‎Barcelona.‎
The concert can be followed live on Sunday at 11 am on Catalunya Música radio station.‎

Violinist Daniel Hope and conductor Anja Bihlmaier: two star guests joining the OBC

Daniel Hope is one of the most brilliant, prestigious violinists on today's ‎music scene. This South African, who boasts an extensive career, major repertoire, and ‎special predilection for 20th century composers, will be returning this weekend to play ‎alongside the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, performing the ‎‎ Concertino for Violin by Mieczysław Weinberg. ‎

The OBC will be headed by German conductor Anja Bihlmaier. She will be ‎making her début at L'Auditori de Barcelona with this programme, which also features ‎‎Symphony No. 4 by Robert Schumann, one of the Romantic composer's ‎finest works. Bihlmaier is the third of the five female conductors who will be visiting ‎the OBC this Spring Season. The principal guest conductor of the Lahti Symphony ‎Orchestra, from August onward, she will also take over the position of ‎‎principal conductor of the Residentie Orkest in The Hague. This makes ‎Anja Bihlmaier the Residentie Orkest's first female conductor and the second female ‎conductor to be named the principal conductor of any Dutch orchestra. ‎

Symphony No. 4 by Robert Schumann is one of the first ‎instances in the history of music of a symphony being heavily revised and changed. Although ‎it was composed and performed for the first time in 1841, it was not until ten years later that ‎the composer felt satisfied with it, following its re-orchestration and the lightening of its tight ‎instrumentation. The structure of the symphony was also altered, since different fragments ‎were eliminated and others were added. ‎

As for Weinberg's Concertino, which will be performed by ‎Daniel Hope, growing interest is being shown in this little-known, unjustly undervalued ‎composer, who was ostracized and harshly criticized for a large part of his life for political and ‎ethnic reasons. A composer of modest Polish-Jewish descent living in Soviet Russia, he ‎suffered directly from anti-Semitism and from Stalin's purges of artists deemed to be ‎contrary to the regime. He never heard his Concertino for Violin and String Orchestra, Op. 42, ‎being performed. Although it was composed in 1948, it was premiered in Moscow in 1999 and ‎recorded for the first time in 2007 by the Amsterdam Sinfonietta. With its simple, lyrical ‎structure, possibly conditioned by the risk of any sign of formalism or bold experimentation, ‎it is a work that moves from merriment to tragedy and from irony to severity. Weinberg is ‎unarguably one of the Soviet Union's leading composers and he deserves to be elevated to ‎the ranks of Shostakovich, Khachaturian and Prokofiev.‎

This concert can be followed live on Sunday morning at 11 am on Catalunya Música ‎radio station.‎

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