British composer Anna Clyne has become known internationally for her music in recent years. Time Out New York magazine calls her work “dazzlingly inventive”, and conductor Riccardo Muti referred to her as “an artist who writes from the heart.” A 2015 Grammy nominee, Clyne served as composer-in-residence with the Chicago Symphony for five years. Masquerade, the work on tonight’s programme, is a vivacious and accessible overture written for the 2013 Proms festival. Inspired by early dance music, the piece draws one of its main themes from a 17th-century English country dance.
William Walton’s Viola Concerto, written in 1929, is a pivotal work in its genre, and it established the composer among Britain’s foremost. The premiere of the concerto prompted one critic to write, “This young composer is a born genius.” The Concerto for Orchestra was one of the last works Béla Bartók completed before his death in 1945. The work showcases all aspects of the orchestra, giving each section a chance to shine in what has become one of the most popular orchestral pieces of the 20th century.
A critic from music website Klassik.com called Germany’s Nils Mönkemeyer “a rock star among today’s viola virtuosi” — and indeed, Mönkemeyer is without doubt one of the foremost violists of his generation. In recent years, he has garnered widespread praise for his recordings for Sony Classical, including his recording of Walton’s Viola Concerto. That CD received the German critics’ award in 2018, and the critic from BBC Music lavished praise upon the “wonderfully clear” performance imbued by turns with majesty and melancholy.
Finnish conductor Pietari Inkinen is a familiar figure in Iceland, having conducted many unforgettable concerts with the Iceland Symphony. He has been Chief Conductor of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra since 2016 and was recently appointed Chief Conductor of the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern. In addition, he appears regularly with many of the world’s premier orchestras.
Anna Clyne Masquerade
William Walton Viola Concerto
Béla Bartók Concerto for Orchestra