Truls Mørk

István Várdai plays Shostakovich


  • Magnus Lindberg Serenades (Dutch premiere)
  • Dmitri Shostakovich First cello concerto
  • Jean Sibelius Third symphony

Nicholas Collon conducts a new work by Magnus Lindberg and Sibelius' Third Symphony. In Shostakovich's fiery First cello concerto, the amazing István Várdai will solo.

Finnish tongues and Russian pepper
The first non-Finnish principal conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra performs a Finnish-Russian concerto. Magnus Lindberg emerges in his sparkling Serenades as the twenty-first-century "answer" to Sibelius, whose Third Symphony is on the program. Hungarian István Várdai replaces Truls Mørk in Shostakovich's First cello concerto. Várdai (born 1985), who incidentally made his debut in The Hague in 1997, has won prizes in the major cello competitions. He now plays the legendary 1673 Stradivarius 'Ex du Pré-Harrell' on which Jacqueline du Pré and Lynn Harrell previously played the solo.

Existential notes
The demands imposed on artists by the Russian authorities were never mild, and both Shostakovich and Sibelius tried to extricate themselves from that clamp. Sibelius fought for a "real Finnish music" in his Third Symphony (1907), and Shostakovich was finally able to write his First Cello Concerto in 1959 without the hot breath of Stalin breathing down his neck. Although he still had to reckon with the ubiquitous Composers' Union. The result is no less so. Existential notes that sound for a higher purpose than mere pleasure.

Saturday, December 9, 2023
2:15 pm
The Royal Concertgebouw

Large Hall


Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Nicholas Collon
István Várdai

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