The Japan Philharmonic Orchestra are coming to Edinburgh with eminent British pianist.
They will feature Beethoven’s fiercely dramatic Third Piano Concerto from the standout British pianist John Lill.
With a career spanning more than half a century, John Lill is a commanding figure throughout the international classical world. He’s revered for his enormous integrity, his profound insights, his captivating charisma – all brilliantly on show at his various appearances at the Usher Hall in the last three years.
Playing music by Beethoven – long a particular speciality – Lill is like a force of nature. In this his compelling return to the Usher Hall, full of connections and contrasts, Lill is soloist in the Third Piano Concerto, one of Beethoven’s most fiercely dramatic pieces – right from its stirring opening, it grabs you and never lets go. He began writing the concerto in 1800, but it wasn’t premiered until 1803; these were tempestuous years for the composer as his health worsened and he began to realise that his hearing was deteriorating. He tried taking a period of rest to recover, but when that didn’t work, he came close to suicidal.
It’s a period of Beethoven’s life that massively contributed to the dark drama of the Third Piano Concerto.
Lill joins Tokyo’s fine Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the country’s most respected symphony orchestras, under its vibrant young Finnish Chief Conductor Pietari Inkinen. The ensemble has been performing together from its base in Tokyo since 1956 and performs over 150 concerts a year in Japan, alongside some of the finest concert halls across the world.
Celebrated internationally for his enthralling performances full of passion and imagination, Pietari Inkinen is one of today’s most exciting classical figures.
Inkinen opens with the evocative soundscapes of fellow Finn Rautavaara, and brings the concert to a joyful conclusion with the stirring optimism of his compatriot Sibelius’s Second Symphony. It’s a rousing piece, the sound of the composer’s native Finland’s nationalist struggle for independence against Tsarist Russia. In between, the fragile, austere beauty of Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu’s brief but potent Requiem for Strings will enrapture the Usher Hall audience.
Japan Philharmonic Orchestra with John Lill is part of the Sunday Classics at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh. It will take place at 3pm on Sunday 14 April, doors open 2pm.
Tickets are available at www.usherhall.co.uk, priced £35, £29, £24, £18 and £13.50. Full time students are entitled to tickets for £10 which can be booked in advance Under 16s are entitled to free tickets when booked with a paying adult. Concessions available. Please note a £1.50 transaction fee applies on the overall booking when purchasing online or over the phone (non-refundable).