Pre-concert talk with Ken Meltzer at 7:00 pm
In their eleventh consecutive SMF performance, the world-renowned Atlanta Symphony Orchestra returns to the Lucas stage under maestro Robert Spano. Joining them is Canadian pianist Louis Lortie, who first performed a recital at SMF 2011. This program of Scandinavian masterworks features Grieg’s romantic and much heralded Piano Concerto, which opens up with one of the most famous and dramatic moments in concert music. After a roll of the timpani and a stunning orchestral chord, the soloist plays a series of descending octaves and passages. The brilliant finale is based upon the halling, a lively Norwegian folk dance. Widely recognized as his country’s national composer, Jean Sibelius, most popular and most recorded work is his Symphony No. 2, an absolute masterpiece and one of the few symphonic creations of our time that point in the same direction as the symphonies of Beethoven. Despite Sibelius, insistence that the Symphony conveyed no specific message, the Finnish people saw it as a forceful expression of patriotism.
Robert Spano, conductor
Louis Lortie, piano
Sibelius Finlandia, Opus 26
Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor, Opus 16
Sibelius Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Opus 43