Past event

24 October 2020

Sala Teatro


Paavo Järvi, conductor
Maria João Pires, piano

Arvo Pärt
Trisagion for string orchestra

Frédéric Chopin
Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 39 in E flat major, K. 543

Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and Paavo Järvi

Paavo Järvi has associated his Nordic roots – Estonia, Russia, Finland, Latvia, and Sweden – with an extensive repertoire that both the orchestra and the audience already seem to have adopted. Amongst the personalities that have influenced his training, the Maestro first quotes his father, the conductor Neeme Järvi. "It was the experience of growing up in the family of a conductor - someone who deeply loves music and has devoted his life to it with such abandon - that made me a musician". Järvi started to study percussion and conducting when he was still in his hometown of Tallinn. In 198, he then went to the United States to study with great masters such as Leonard Bernstein. "My father toured the West with Soviet orchestras as the second conductor, alongside great conductors such as Evgeny Mravinsky, Evgeny Svetlanov and Gennadi Rozhdestvensky. Most of the musicians came back from those tours with rare items such as jeans or pressure umbrellas, all of which were new for us. My father used to bring back records and miniature scores. We probably had the largest private collection of records and sheet music in the Soviet Union!"

Järvi and the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich will be our guests in Lugano with a double Mendelssohn programme - the Symphonies No. 1 and No. 4 Italian - along with Chopin's beautiful Piano Concerto No. 2 performed by Maria João Pires. Deeply attached to his homeland, Paavo Järvi also loves to conduct the music of his fellow countrymen, in particular the works of Arvo Pärt, such as Trisagion, which is scheduled in Lugano. This work for string orchestra was written to celebrate the five hundredth anniversary of the Church of Ilomantsi in Finland. The piece is built according to the hyphenation and the accentuation of the Slavic language used for the orthodox liturgy.

Maria João Pires

"I can't think of a pianist with a more ideal command of Chopin's style. Pires trips through the roulades with filigree dexterity, but her tone is so thoughtful, serious and weighty that they arrive with immense emotional profundity". This is how the London newspaper The Times described Maria João Pires' approach to Chopin. The pianist herself finds "Chopin's music very interior and deep. The composer is the greatest musical poet.  But he also invented this terrible thing called a piano recital, which has given me to suffer throughout my life". Shy and reserved, Maria João Pires makes sparing appearances on the concert or recital stage; and when she does, her Chopin performances enchant everyone. So much so that the magazine Gramophone has crowned her recording of Chopin's Nocturnes as the "best version available".