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One Thousand and One Nights

Iceland Symphony Orchestra

Elizabeth Ogonek: All These Lighted Things
Béla Bartók: Piano Concerto no. 1
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade

Elim Chan

Tamara Stefanovich

This concert features Tamara Stefanovich performing Bela Bartók’s Piano Concerto no. 1, written in 1926 and now performed in Iceland for the first time with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. Tamara Stefanovich is a leading performer of contemporary piano music. The critic from British newspaper The Guardian ranked her London recital among the three best musical events of 2019. Icelandic concertgoers recall her appearance with the orchestra in 2014, when she substituted for another soloist with only a few days’ notice, performing Ligeti’s demanding concerto while eight months pregnant.

Conductor Elim Chan has catapulted to stardom in recent years. The Hong Kong native studied conducting in the United States and was the first  woman to win the Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition. She is currently Chief Conductor of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra.

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov was one of the most brilliant orchestrators in the history of Western music, and nowhere do his gifts shine as brightly as in the colourful orchestral work Scheherazade, based on tales from One Thousand and One Nights. The sultan Schariar, convinced that all women are treacherous and deceitful, vows to marry a new bride each day and put her to death the following morning. But the beautiful Scheherazade saves her own life by telling her husband captivating tales for a thousand and one nights.

Also on the programme is a work written by American composer Elizabeth Ogonek for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, where she is composer-in-residence. The work bears the subtitle “Three little dances for orchestra”, which the composer describes as “run through with overwhelming happiness and joy.”

Further information on the concert can be found on the Iceland Symphony Orchestra website.