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 one of Europe’s most versatile orchestras, with a worldwide reputation and a repertoire that combines the major classical works as well as exciting new music. In collaboration with the most important conductors, soloists and composers, there is a constant striving to break new ground. The orchestra’s extensive and high-quality music-making has been rewarded with numerous prizes and accolades and they regularly perform at international festivals and concert halls. “The orchestra has a unique combination of humility, sensibility and musical imagination”, says Daniel Harding, chief conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. “I have never had a concert with the orchestra where they haven’t played as though their lives depended on it!” he continues. The first radio orchestra was formed in 1925, the same year that the Swedish Radio Service began its broadcasts and 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 and over the years has had such distinguished chief conductors as Sergiu Celibidache, Herbert Blomstedt and Esa-Pekka Salonen.