Concert | 11+

2nd Symphony Concert

Johannes Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 B-flat major
Dmitri Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 in D minor

Musically dense, complex and technically demanding, Brahms' 2nd Piano Concerto is rightly regarded as one of the most important piano concertos of all time. Brahms himself performed the demanding piano part at the work's highly successful premiere in 1881. The concerto is a 50-minute long journey through various emotional landscapes, from the famous opening lines of the solo horn, to the song-like third movement with solo cello, and the cheery rondo finale complete with its Hungarian colouring.

Almost 50 years later, in a very different time and in a country where composing was a matter of life and death, Dmitri Shostakovich composed his Symphony No. 5 in D minor. Shortly before, Stalin had condemned Shostakovich's opera "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk" and in 1936 declared Shostakovich a cultural enemy of the people. Premiered in 1938, the 5th Symphony contains a number of hidden messages and multiple interpretive possibilities: while the first movement seems to hint at "heroic tragedy" and the idyll of youth, fate lurks beneath the surface. The dance-like energy is soon disrupted by discordant tones and once the finale begins, suspicion gives way to complete mistrust.

Greek conductor Zoi Tsokanou was Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Thessaloniki State Orchestra until 2023 and has recently made his international debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and the Norwegian National Opera. Simon Trpčeski is one of the most sought-after piano soloists of our time. Together with the WDR Symphony Orchestra and Cristian Macelaru, he has recorded Brahms' 1st and 2nd Piano Concertos, released in Winter 2023.


Conductor Zoi Tsokanou


Symphony ConcertKurhaus19:30
18:45 Pre-concert Talk