Russian pianist Denis Kozhukhin is one of the brightest piano stars of recent years. He won first prize in the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels in 2010, at the age of 23, and in the past year he has performed with world-renowned conductors such as Daniel Barenboim and Simon Rattle. His recording of the piano concertos of Tchaikovsky and Grieg has been highly praised and was named CD of the Month by Gramophonemagazine. His powerful piano playing is reminiscent of the “Russian school” and is ideally suited to Prokofiev’s music. On this programme, Kozhukhin performs the magnificent Concerto no. 2, which is extremely demanding for the performer in terms of technical facility and endurance.
One of Iceland’s most celebrated composers, Atli Heimir Sveinsson, celebrates his eightieth birthday in September 2018, and to mark the occasion, the Iceland Symphony performs one of his less-heard works. Infinitesimal Fragments of Eternity was written for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota in 1982 on the occasion of the Scandinavia Today cultural festival. Rounding out the programme is Johannes Brahms’ magnificent Symphony no. 4, a thick, juicy Romantic work inspired by Baroque forms and, in particular, the music of JS Bach. Spanish conductor Antonio Méndez garnered international attention as a prizewinner in the respected Malko Competition in Copenhagen in 2012. When he conducted the Iceland Symphony in spring 2016, concertgoers were on the edge of their seats and critics gave the concert five stars, calling the performance “impeccable”.
Atli Heimir Sveinsson Infinitesimal Fragments of Eternity
Sergei Prokofiev Piano Concerto no. 2
Johannes Brahms Symphony no. 4