Thursday 31 January 2019

Music with a message: European premiere of Gabriela Montero's Babel

Gabriela Montero
Gabriela Montero
Audiences perhaps know Gabriela Montero best as a pianist and improvisor, re-igniting the tradition of performers as improvisors as well as interpreters. Montero is also a composer, and a human rights activist for her politically-troubled home country of Venezuela. And a concert with the Scottish Ensemble in February 2019 allows audiences to explore these latter two aspects of Montero's art as she and the Scottish Ensemble collaborate on the European premiere of Montero's Babel for piano and strings, a work which uses music as a metaphor for an artist trying to communicate injustice in a frantic 21st century world, creating a vivid picture of an artist trying to convey urgent political messages in a world which wants only to talk, and never to listen. The work was co-commissioned by Scottish Ensemble, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra (USA) and Kings Place (UK) and was premiered in Columbus, Ohio, USA in November 2018 with the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra.

Babel is performed in a programme which explores the theme of 'music with a message', works which use music to communicate a powerful message about our humanity, including Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony Op.118a, the final movement of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time and Peteris Vasks’ Viatore.  The ensemble is bringing the programme to Kings Place, as part of the Venus Unwrapped Festival when they will also be performing Dobrinka Tabakova's Such Different Paths.

The programme debuts at Glasgow Concert Halls (8/2/2019) and then tours to Eden Court, Inverness (10/2/2019) , The Queen's Hall, Edinburgh (12/2/2019), Perth Concert Hall (13/2/2019), Kings Place, London (15/2/2019), Kendal Leisure Centre (16/2/2019).

Full details from the Scottish Ensemble website.

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