Rachmaninov 150 years: Piano Concerto No. 1

Sergei Rachmaninov was only 17 years when he began composing his first piano concerto. Fifty yeas later he finished his last work the Symphonic Dances. Chinese conductor Elim Chan leads the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and french pianist Alexandre Kantorow – by critics called the “young tsar of the piano” – in this concert where we met both the young and the old composer Rachmaninov.

After the concerts on the 22th and 23th of november two indivdual bonus concerts will follow with music by Sergei Rachmaninov, Paul Hindemith, and Edward Elgar. Scroll down on the page to read more.





The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra is known worldwide as one of Europe’s most versatile orchestras with an exciting and varied repertoire and a constant striving to break new ground The multi-award-winning orchestra has been praised for its exceptional, wide-ranging musicianship as well as collaborations with the world’s foremost composers, conductors and soloists.

Permanent home of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra since 1979 is Berwaldhallen, the Swedish Radio’s concert hall. In addition to the audience in the hall, the orchestra reaches many many listeners on the radio and the web and through it´s partnership with EBU. Several concerts are also broadcast and streamed on Berwaldhallen Play and with Swedish Television, offering the audience more opportunities to come as close as possible to one of the world’s top orchestras.

“The orchestra has a unique combination of humility, sensibility and musical imagination”, says Daniel Harding, Music Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra since 2007. “I have never had a concert with the orchestra where they haven’t played as though their lives depended on it!”

The first radio orchestra was founded in 1925, the same year that the Swedish Radio Service began its broadcasts. The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra received its current name in 1967. Through the years, the orchestra has had several distinguished Music Directors. Two of them, Herbert Blomstedt and Esa-Pekka Salonen, have since been appointed Conductors Laureate.

In 2019, aged 22, Alexandre Kantorow became the first French pianist to win the gold medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition, where he also won the Grand Prix, which has only been awarded three times before in the competition’s history. Hailed by critics as the ‘young tsar of the piano’ (Classica) and ‘Liszt reincarnated’ (Fanfare), he has received numerous other awards and has been invited to perform worldwide at the highest level.

Even before the competition, Kantorow had already been attracting attention. He began performing professionally at an early age, making his debut at La Folle Journée festival in Nantes at just 16. Since then he has played with many of the world’s major orchestras.

He has performed solo recitals at major concert halls across Europe, such as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, in their Master Pianists series, the Konzerthaus Berlin, Philharmonie de Paris, BOZAR in Brussels and Stockholm Konserthus. He has also appeared at some of the most prestigious festivals including La Roque d’Anthéron, Piano aux Jacobins, Verbier Festival and Klavierfest Ruhr. Chamber music is another of his great pleasures and he regularly performs with Victor Julien-Laferrière, Renaud Capuçon, Daniel Lozakovich and Matthias Goerne.

Kantorow records exclusively with BIS, to great critical acclaim. He is a laureate of the Safran Foundation and Banque Populaire, and in 2019 he was named ‘Musical Revelation of the Year’ by the Professional Critics Association. In 2020 he won the Victoires de la Musique Classique in two categories : Recording of the Year and Instrumental Soloist of the Year.

Born in France of Franco-British heritage, he has studied with Pierre-Alain Volondat, Igor Lazko, Frank Braley and Rena Shereshevskaya.

Approximate concert length: 1 hour

Bonus concert November, Wednesday 22: Hindemith & Rachmaninov for French horns
We have the pleasure of inviting you to a chamber music recital after the concert on wednesday 22th of November. You are most welcome to stay, the performance will begin after a brief interval.

Paul Hindemith’s Sonata for Four Horns was premiered in 1953 by members of the Vienna Philharmonic. In this concert, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra’s horn section takes on Hindemith’s modern masterpiece as well as Sergei Rachmaninov’s Vocalise from 1914, arranged for four horns.

Anna Ferriol de Ciurana, horn
Chris Parkes, horn
Hans Larsson, horn
Pedro Silva, horn
Rolf Nykvist, horn
Bengt Ny, horn
PAUL HINDEMITH: Sonata for four horns  15’
SERGEJ RACHMANINOV: Vocalise (arr. Nn) 6’

Bonus concert November, Thursday 23: Elgar’s piano quintet with Kantorow
We have the pleasure of inviting you to a chamber music recital after the concert. You are most welcome to stay on, the performance will begin after a brief interval.

The piano quintet in A minor is one of three chamber pieces Edward Elgar wrote while living in the Sussex countryside in 1918–1919. The music shows inspiration from the surrounding nature, as well as from Gothic literature that Elgar immersed himself in. Alexandre Kantorow leads the performance of this elegant piece of chamber music.

Alexandre Kantorow, piano
Malin Broman, violin
Per Öman, violin,
Pascal Siffert, viola
Aleksei Kiseliov, cello
Programme: EDWARD ELGAR: Piano quintet in A minor, Op. 84, 35 min