The Metropolitan Orchestra Presents Russian Nights

Clemens Leske
Clemens Leske

Pianist Clemens Leske will perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No 3 in D minor with The Metropolitan Orchestra in its annual all-Russian programme. Titled “Russian Nights”, the performance will also include Rimsky-Korsakov’s sultry Scheherazade opus 35.

Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto no 3 is considered one of the most technically confronting concertos in the classical repertoire. It was premiered on November 28th 1909, played by Rachmaninoff himself with The New York Symphony Orchestra followed by a famous second performance on January 16th 1910 featuring Mahler with the New York Philharmonic. The work was revived to new audiences in the 1996 movie “Shine” which is based on the life of pianist David Helfgott, acted by Geoffrey Rush who won an academy award for the role. TMO last performed this piano concerto in August 2012, conducted by Sarah-Grace Williams with David Helfgott himself on piano. This year’s concert  with virtuoso Clemens Leske will also be led by Chief Conductor Williams. Leske has performed with all the major Australian symphony orchestras in addition to having appeared regularly with the Australian String Quartet, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Offspring and the Moscow Virtuosi. For his London Royal Festival Hall debut, Leske performed Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No 1 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

The second half of the performance features Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. Composed in 1888 and based on “One Thousand and One Nights” (also known as Arabian Nights), the symphonic suite is an electrifying and emotional musical journey, telling the story of one of history’s greatest story teller’s – Scheherazade. This compelling and narrative work will transport the audience to a fairy-tale world of love, intrigue and adventure.

The program: RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No 3/RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Scheherazade

Conductor: Sarah-Grace Williams/ Piano Soloist: Clemens Leske


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