Schumann and Borisova-Ollas
Composer Victoria Borisova-Ollas had a big hit with the premiere of her opera Dracula at the Royal Swedish Opera last autumn. In March, she is the focus of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra’s composer series. As part of this concert, her Wunderbare Leiden, a piano concerto for two soloists, and a tribute to Robert and Clara Schumann, will be performed by pianists David Huang and Henrik Måwe.
Ahead of Robert Schumann’s 200th birthday, Victoria Borisova-Ollas wrote double concerto Wunderbare Leiden. The name comes from one of Robert’s diary entries, and is a telling example of his dramatic emotional life. Musically, both Mr and Mrs Schumann can be sensed in the concert, which was written for two pianists – like the Schumanns! Robert Schumann only wrote one opera during his career – Genoveva – after a medieval German legend about love and unfaithfulness. Don Juan, Richard Strauss’ second symphonic poem, was the piece that really established him as a composer.
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 orchestra’s high-quality music making as well as its collaborations with internationally renowned composers, conductors and soloists have been rewarded with numerous prizes and accolades.
“The orchestra has a unique combination of humility, sensibility and musical imagination”, says Daniel Harding, chief conductor 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 formed in 1925, the same year that the Swedish Radio Service began its broadcasts. Since then, the orchestra’s concerts have always been broadcast by the Swedish Radio. The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra received its current name in 1967.
Through the years, the orchestra has had several distinguished chief conductors. Two of them, Herbert Blomstedt and Esa-Pekka Salonen, have since been appointed conductors laureate together with Valery Gergiev, a regular guest conductor and co-founder of the Baltic Sea Festival.