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Czech Philharmonic: Schumann / ShostakovichSemyon Bychkov (conductor), Víkingur Ólafsson (piano)

Víkingur Ólafsson sits in front of a grand piano, resting his elbow on it
Copyright: Ari Magg

The audience can justifiably look forward to hearing Ólafsson bring the romantic nature of Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto to life and full effect as part of the guest performance by the Czech Philharmonic with chief conductor Semyon Bychkov in the Isarphilharmonie.

The audience can justifiably look forward to hearing Ólafsson bring the romantic nature of Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto to life and full effect as part of the guest performance by the Czech Philharmonic with chief conductor Semyon Bychkov in the Isarphilharmonie.

Víkingur Ólafsson, piano

Semyon Bychkov, conductor

 

According to the recent tongue-in-cheek and affectionate article about the 38-year-old pianist in Der Standard, “The black-rimmed glasses and sharp side parting“ give Víkingur Ólafsson the look “of an eternal hipster among pianists”. Born in Iceland, he has earned a reputation over the last few years as a sensitive and world-class artist who delivers extremely reflective and nuanced performances. Víkingur Ólafsson is currently under contract to Deutsche Grammophon and his recordings are known for his deliberate juxtaposition of diverse composers, eras and styles.

 

As well as his interpretations of Bach, Mozart and Debussy, he also enjoys demonstrating his tremendous artistic versatility with performances of works by contemporary composers including Philip Glass, John Adams and Thomas Adès. In actual fact, however, categories such as ‘old’ and ‘new’ seem to have little or no meaning for him. In an interview with Concerti, he once said: “What I do is definitely rooted in the present. Whether I’m playing Adams or Mozart, all my contemporary experiences are channelled into my approach and interpretation.”

Programme

  • Robert Schumann: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in A minor, Op 54
  • Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No 11 in G minor, Op 103 “The Year 1905”