Sato, The Romantics And The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra


Japanese/American violin star Shunske Sato will lead the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra into some rarely visited territory – historically informed Romantic music, performed on gut strings in Sato and the Romantics.

Together they’ll perform music of the Romantic giants Mendelssohn (a symphony written at the age of 12), Grieg (Romantic music inspired by the Baroque) and an epic and rarely heard violin concerto written by one of history’s greatest and most revered violinists, Paganini.

Shunske Sato was born in Tokyo, and migrated to the USA at the age of four. He now lives in The Netherlands. aged 12 he won the Young Concert Artists award, the youngest to date. He continued his studies at the Juilliard School in New York, the Conservatoire National de Région in Paris and the Hochschule für Musik und Theather in Munich.

He is the concertmaster for Concerto Köln and the Netherlands Bach Society. In 2013 he was invited to join the faculty of the Amsterdam Conservatory, where he teaches violin in the context of historical performance practice.

Says Shunske “The violin I will be using is made by Auguste Bernardel in Paris in 1846 – in those days it was quite the fashion to copy Paganini’s Guarneri violin Il Cannone and my fiddle is one of those, so quite appropriate to play his Concerto on it.”

On Paganini, he says “I think Paganini offers much more than his usual branding of pyrotechnics with a brash edge – contemporary reviews from his concerts speak not only of his technical brilliance but also of how incredibly expressive and singing-like his playing was, and how it made men weep and women faint (though this was surely due to their corsets in part). Besides the fireworks and impossibly difficult bits in his music, I like to emphasize the elegance, subtlety, humour and sincerity too, because only then is his music not only complete but also personally rewarding and moving for me.”

“There is the tightrope-walking and having a left-hand like Elastigirl from The Incredibles, but beautiful, lyrical moments are just as plenty,” says Shunske. “And the orchestration is exceptionally effective and well thought out. Despite its qualities, the piece is not played very often – high time to change that!”Paganini’s Violin Concerto No 4 premiered when he was 50, plagued by a multitude of ailments, and frail, but there is no frailty about this music.

“For all the research and interest in Romantic performance practice nowadays, I haven’t yet encountered anyone who has gone down the historically informed Paganini road – it’s worth looking into a genius who revolutionized the 19th century,” says Shunske.

Paganini’s 4th Concerto premiered when he was 50, plagued by a multitude of ailments, and frail, but there is no frailty about this music.

The programme:

MENDELSSOHN String Symphony No. 3 in E minor, MWV N 3/ GREIG Holberg Suite Op. 40 Suite in the Olden Style/ PAGANINI Concerto for Violin No. 4 in D minor

Click here to book.


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