pianist Paul Lewis Returns with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 3

Award-winning pianist Paul Lewis joins the Scottish Chamber Orchesta in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen between 5-7 November for performances of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 3. He is reunited with conductor Andrew Manze, following their successful Mozart/Schubert collaboration in Edinburgh and Glasgow in January this year. The programme also features Schubert’s Symphony No 6 and Webern’s Five Movements Op 5.

Paul Lewis has recently performed Beethoven’s complete sonatas across Europe and North America, and released a critically acclaimed recording of the cycle on the Harmonia Mundi label. Beethoven wrote his Piano Concerto No 3 to play himself, at a time when he was going deaf. It was premiered, after a seven-hour rehearsal, in 1803. The concert closes with Schubert’s Symphony No 6 in C ‘Little’. Despite the name (it was described as ‘little’ to differentiate it from Schubert’s Symphony No 9, also in C major), this is a sweeping work, and the 21-year-old composer was clearly influenced by his contemporaries Haydn, Beethoven and, in particular, Rossini.

The SCO’s early evening series in Edinburgh, CL@SIX, continues on 24 November with Dvorak’s Wind Serenade and Strauss’ Suite in B-flat under clarinettist and conductor Joan Enric Lluna. The concert lasts just an hour, and takes place in St Cuthbert’s Parish Church, off Lothian Road.

November is brought to a close with the world premiere performance of the complete version of Edward Harper’s Second Symphony in a ‘Homecoming’-themed programme at Glasgow City Halls and Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 November. As well as paying tribute to the music of Harper, who died in April this year, the Orchestra celebrates the music of Kenneth Leighton in the 80th anniversary year of his birth with a performance of his Concerto for String Orchestra, and marks the 50th birthday of James MacMillan with his tour de force Tryst. Garry Walker, who conducted Harper’s Second Symphony at both the 2006 premiere and on the Delphian recording, directs the Orchestra in these concerts, and is joined by bass baritone Leigh Melrose.

Harper’s Second Symphony replaces Symphony No 3 ‘Homage to Robert Burns’ which was scheduled to receive its world premiere in these concerts. Harper had sketched out the first movement of the new symphony prior to his death, and the Orchestra has asked composer Lyell Cresswell to complete the movement with a view to performing it in the 2010/11 Season.

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