Gianandrea Noseda conducts Rachmaninov, Balakirev, and Shostakovich – With Seong-Jin Cho

Russian Roots

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Program notes

The London Symphony Orchestra is led by its Principal Guest Conductor, maestro Gianandrea Noseda, in an all-Russian program culminating in the brilliant young Shostakovich’s First Symphony, composed when he was just 18 years old! Korean pianist and winner of the 2015 International Chopin Piano Competition Seong-Jin Cho joins them for one of Rachmaninov’s most popular piano concertos in a concert at London’s prestigious Barbican Hall.

The program opens with Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2. Following the failure of Rachmaninov's First Symphony in March 1897, the composer wrote it on the advice of his doctor, Niels Dahl, who helped him overcome his depression - and it is to Dahl that the work is dedicated. Next comes Balakirev’s Islamey, a fascinating work inspired by a visit to the Caucasus mountains that is run through with fantasy and romanticism. The evening closes with the young Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 1, a stunningly brilliant work that shows the influences of Mahler and Prokofiev.

Seong-Jin Cho appears courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon.

A closer look: featured composers

Further listening: featured works

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