Pianist Khatia Buniatishvili

Khatia Buniatishvili © Esther Haase

New Year's Concert

This concert was played:

  1. Piano Concerto No. 2
  2. Symphony No. 4
  1. Natalie Stutzmann conductor
  2. Khatia Buniatishvili piano

We’ll be ringing in the new year with conductor Nathalie Stutzmann and pianist Khatia Buniatishvili. The programme features two great audience favourites: Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.

In the spring of 1897, the soon to be twenty-four year old Rachmaninov (1873–1943) was a rising star as a pianist and composer in his native Russia. The premiere of his first symphony in St. Petersburg had prepared the way for a new step up the ladder to the top. But the world premiere resulted in scandal, and the work was torn to pieces by critics. Rachmaninov was devastated, and hardly managed to compose anything for the next years.

The composer’s family eventually established contact with the therapist Nikolai Dahl. For three months he met Rachmaninov daily, and the composer received regular uplifting messages about how he would successfully compose a brilliant piano concerto. The creative spark did return: in 1901 his second piano concerto was complete. The concerto was a huge success and remains an audience favourite within its genre. Rachmaninov dedicated the concerto to his invaluable therapist.

In 1877, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1841–1893) received an unexpected solicitation from the wealthy business woman Nadezhda von Meck. She was a great admirer of Tchaikovsky’s work, and wanted to support him financially so he could concentrate on composing. One of the conditions was that they should never meet, although they were avid correspondents for decades. Von Meck continued her financial contributions until 1890.

1877 was also the year that Tchaikovsky produced his fourth symphony, and von Meck begged him to explain the meaning behind the work. Tchaikovsky disliked explanations of his music, but explains in his answer that the horn theme in the beginning is the seed from which the entire work grows, and that it represents Fate – just like the famous opening theme in Beethoven’s fifth symphony. Regardless of the meaning, the explosive beginning is a start of an extraordinarily colourful and emotional symphony.

(Translation from Norwegian: Sarah Osa)


  • Adult: 200 - 580 NOK
  • Senior: 200 - 465 NOK
  • Student: 200 - 290 NOK
  • Child: 150 NOK

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