BIZET – l’Arlésienne Suite No 2
PROKOFIEV – Violin Concerto No 2
RAVEL – Pavane pour une Infante Défunte
CÉSAR FRANCK – Symphony in D minor
Soloist: Nicola Benedetti (violin)
Conductor: Roderick Dunk
We are especially pleased to welcome back Nicola Benedetti to perform Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No 2 in this concert. She is now an internationally acclaimed soloist and we are privileged to have her to play again with the RTWSO.
The Prokofiev concerto is a more lyrical and straightforward work than some of the composer’s early avant-garde works and as part of it was written in Paris, it fits with the French theme of this concert.
Our programme starts with the second Suite that Bizet compiled from music he wrote for Alphonse Daudet’s play l’Arlésienne (the girl from Arles). Bizet’s music captures wonderfully the atmosphere of the south of France where the play is set and the score includes a saxophone, at the time a very rare visitor to the symphony orchestra.
Ravel’s short but exquisite Pavane pour une Infante Défunte is an arrangement by him for small orchestra of a popular early piano piece. The title refers to a dead Infanta, or Spanish princess, not to a child.
We end with the imposing Symphony in D minor by César Franck. Symphonies were not a common musical form in 19th century France and this cleverly constructed three movement work is one of the best known.
Nicola Benedetti (violin)
Nicola Benedetti is one of the most sought-after violinists of her generation. Her ability to captivate audiences with her innate musicianship and dynamic presence, coupled with her wide appeal as a high-profile advocate for classical music, has made her one of the most influential classical artists of today.
With concerto performances at the heart of her career, Nicola is in much demand with major orchestras and conductors across the globe. Nicola enjoys working with the highest level of orchestras including collaborations with the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra of Washington D.C., Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Camerata Salzburg, Czech Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony and the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival.
Nicola was awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music in 2017, the youngest ever recipient, and was appointed as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours, in recognition of her international music career and work with musical charities throughout the United Kingdom. In addition, Nicola has received eight honorary degrees to date.