Arlene Sierra was born in one city (Miami) and now lives in another (London) – but over the course of a 20-year career, the American-born, British-based composer has created a catalogue of works that often pay evocative homage to the natural world, far removed from the urban mayhem that surrounds her day-to-day life. The highlight of this concert is the first ever performance of her new Nature Symphony: commissioned for this evening’s performance by the BBC Philharmonic, part of their commitment to new music, it will be conducted by special guest Ludovic Morlot (Music Director of the Seattle Symphony). The joys and inspirations of the natural world are also present in Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony, a lilting, lyrical work that conjures luminous images of the Czech countryside the composer adored. Béla Bartók’s First Piano Concerto, though, is another beast entirely: sharp, urgent and occasionally abrasive, and performed tonight by French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet with the orchestra, it seems much more at home in the heart of the city.
Ludovic Morlot – Conductor
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet – Piano