SOČR & de la Parra
Date of EventSunday, 2. 6. 2019 from 20.00
Expected end of the concert 21.40
Event placeMunicipal House – Smetana Hall
Price250 - 700 CZK
- Dmitri Shostakovich: Festive Overture Op. 96
- Alexander Arutiunian: Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra in A flat major
- Igor Stravinsky: Petrushka (burlesque scenes in four tableaux)
- Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra
- Alondra de la Parra - conductor
- Manuel Blanco - trumpet
Partners of the concert
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As a critic for the French newspaper Le Monde observed, with Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra classical music is entering the 21st century. Her popularity has been skyrocketing, in tune to her regular appearances with the Orchestre de Paris, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Rome´s Orchestra dell´Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and other prominent forces. She has enchanted audiences by a combination of elegance and vigour, as well as by her talent for sprucing up all-too-well known compositions with sparkling individuality. She is currently principal conductor of Australia´s Queensland Symphony Orchestra – an egagement, incidentally, bringing up interesting associations with the contribution made there by Rudolf Pekárek, a founding father of the Prague Symphony Orchestra, who was the Queensland Symphony´s chief conductor from 1954–1967, leaving an indelible imprint on the orchestra´s profile. Notably also, de la Parra is the first woman to become the principal conductor of an Australian orchestra. Even on the global scale, to be sure, she happens to be one of only few women to have asserted themselves as conductors, still a largely male-dominated profession. In her pursuit of a career whose qualifying criteria include not just versatile musical endowments but also considerable psychological and diplomatic skills, she does not strive to imitate the masculine approach – on the contrary, she enriches it by uniquely feminine traits.
All of this has been duly noted by the German television company Deutsche Welle which has since July 2017 featured a series entitled Musica Maestra. In its twenty-six instalments, viewers are invited to join Alondra de la Parra in an informal tour around the backstage of a conductor´s profession.
Still beyond the scope of her conducting career, de la Parra has been actively involved in various educational projects and work as a music communicator. In 2004, aged twenty-three, she founded the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, turning it into a platform for encounters between young interpreters and composers from across North and South Americas. She is an ardent champion of music by Mexican composers, an initiative she sparked off triumphantly early on, with her debut album released by Sony Classical, entitled My Mexican Soul.
This concert will begin with the Festive Overture by Dmitri Shostakovich, a musical fireworks with just the right blend of pomp and glittering overstatement, which will showcase the qualities of orchestra and conductor alike. The skills of the winner of the prestigious ARD Competition, trumpeter Manuel Blanco, will be put to test by the virtuoso yet accessible Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra by Armenian composer Alexander Arutiunian, a work which has since its premiere in 1950 joined the list of the best-loved concertos for this instrument. The programme will be capped by Stravinsky´s Petrushka, orchestral suite from the eponymous ballet which was commissioned from the composer by the legendary impresario, Sergei Diaghilev, and which premiered in Paris. The ballet´s colossal success prompted Stravinsky to turn its key musical numbers to an orchestral suite (in the same way as he did in the case of another of his ballets, Firebird, the suite from which you will be offered by the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, during its concert on 4 June). The Petrushka suite has to date lost nothing of its power to enthrall the listener by its sheer dynamism, exemplifying Stravinsky´s groundbreaking, and indeed timeless contribution, among other things in his handling of contrasts, often evocative of film editing. While this may come naturally to today´s audience, at the time of the work´s origin (1911), it was extremely unusual.