. Interchanging Idioms: Unsuk Chin's Cello Concerto Receives U.S. Premiere

Monday, January 24, 2011

Unsuk Chin's Cello Concerto Receives U.S. Premiere

New York's Talea Ensemble Presents Unsuk Chin Composer Portrait Unsuk Chin's Cello Concerto (2009) will receive its U.S. premiere with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the baton of conductor Susan Mälkki with cellist Alban Gerhardt on February 10-12, 2011. The concerto, for which Chin received a British Composers Award, is dedicated to Gerhardt and was commissioned by the BBC Proms. It is Chin's fourth instrumental concerto to date, following her Grawemeyer Award-winning Violin Concerto. The U.S. premiere follows a hugely successful world premiere at the BBC Proms in August 2009 by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Of that performance, the Sunday Times (London) wrote: "The greatest compliment you can pay a new work is the desire to hear it again, as with Unsuk Chin's Cello Concerto... (It) is surely destined for the repertoire." The work will also have German and Korean premieres in 2011.

Chin describes the work as "antithetical to (her) other concertos." She continues, "While in my concertos for violin, piano and percussion I was seeking to merge a solo instrument into a virtuoso super-instrument, here it's all about the competitive approach between cello and orchestra… In my cello writing, I often ask the soloist to become a kind of illusionist, disguising the nature of this instrument. However, I feel also strongly that the cello has a kind of intrinsic emotional character, which can't be denied."

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