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Unsuk Chin and Donghoon Shin Barbican performances

Date: Thursday 14 March - Sunday 7 April 2024
Barbican Centre | Silk Street | London EC2Y 8DS | | [Map]

Tickets: from £10 | Ticket links below
Thursday 14 March 2024: Beethoven and Unsuk Chin | Book tickets
Sunday 7 April 2024: The Music of Tomorrow | Book tickets
Unsuk Chin and Donghoon Shin

Unsuk Chin has music featured in two of the London Symphony Orchestra’s Spring season concerts; and in the second of those concerts we will be treated to a UK premiere of Donghoon Shin’s Cello Concerto:

Thursday 14 March, 7pm: Beethoven and Unsuk Chin

Prepare for the unexpected in Beethoven’s most surprising symphony, and Unsuk Chin’s brilliantly disorientating Piano Concerto.

Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No 2
Unsuk Chin Piano Concerto
Interval – 20 minutes
Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No 8

François-Xavier Roth  conductor
Bertrand Chamayou  piano
London Symphony Orchestra

Beethoven wrote two light-hearted symphonies in especially difficult times. He composed his Second Symphony while struggling with his increasing deafness, and the Eighth coincides with a despairing letter to his ‘immortal beloved’, a mystery woman with whom he had a tragic affair. Yet Symphony No 2 contains an offbeat ‘scherzo’ or ‘joke’ movement, and the surprises come thick and fast in the Eighth. Listen out for the laughter and footsteps in the second movement, and the double-take in the finale when the symphony discovers it’s in the wrong key.

For François-Xavier Roth, Beethoven’s symphonies ‘work very well with modern music, maybe because his symphonies are an amazing example of radical, modern music, that changed the basis of composing and of the role of music in our life. We can hear Beethoven’s music with different ears, in dialogue with contemporary music from our time.’

Roth and the LSO bring a fresh perspective to Beethoven’s enduring works, and precision to the charming paradoxes of Unsuk Chin’s Concerto. Bertrand Chamayou dives deep into Chin’s oeuvre as part of an Artist Portrait series, which includes chamber music at LSO St Luke’s.

Sunday 7 April, 7pm:The Music of Tomorrow – LSO Futures with François-Xavier Roth

Vivid, moreish music by Unsuk Chin and Donghoon Shin, plus beguiling works by emerging talents, conducted by François-Xavier Roth.

Christian Drew Aquarium Drifter (world premiere, LSO Panufnik commission)
Unsuk Chin SPIRA
Donghoon Shin Nachtergebung (Cello Concerto) (UK premiere)
Interval – 20 minutes
Stef Conner Hateful Grace (world premiere, LSO Panufnik commission)
Béla Bartók Concerto for Orchestra

François-Xavier Roth  conductor
Rebecca Gilliver  cello
London Symphony Orchestra

Unsuk Chin’s glimmering SPIRA grows out of the resonance of two vibraphones, its title referencing the ‘marvellous spiral’ that a 17th-century mathematician observed all over the natural world. Donghoon Shin’s eloquent Cello Concerto is inspired by the eerie visions of Austrian poet Georg Trakl.

And how do emerging composers begin to collaborate with major orchestras? The London Symphony Orchestra’s Panufnik Composers Scheme sets out to bring them together. This year, the scheme culminates in this concert, which presents world premieres by rising stars Christian Drew and Stef Conner.

LSO Futures is a collaboration between François-Xavier Roth and the LSO that goes back over a decade – ‘a festival championing new music, not just the music of our time, but also music from the last decades’, in the conductor’s own words. ‘I often say that I love contemporary music from all periods of music history,’ says Roth. ‘All music was modern music at the time. And I think that as a society, as an audience, as artists, the more we have close contact to the music written today, the better. There’s a risk in something you don’t know; something that shakes us or provokes us is healthy. And I think that music should keep going, inventing and showing the world of tomorrow.’

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