It goes without saying that the Concertgebouworkest will be celebrating the anniversary of Beethoven’s birth 250 years ago. None other than Krystian Zimerman is performing his First and Second Piano Concertos under the direction of Gustavo Gimeno.
Krystian Zimerman, one of the greatest pianists of our time, is performing the First and Second Piano Concertos on a single programme. Beethoven himself was also a phenomenal pianist, and his career began on the concert stage, as these two early concertos attest. Stylistically, they are still close to the ur-classical concertos of Haydn and Mozart, yet Beethoven’s idiosyncrasy can already be heard.
These two piano concertos are performed less frequently than the three composed subsequently, but that makes them no less challenging. For soloist and orchestra alike, these works are all about precision, which is why only pianists of the highest calibre take them on. That category most certainly includes Krystian Zimerman, who has been praised for decades for his perfectionism and his balanced vision of the score. Gustavo Gimeno, the renowned conductor who launched his international career with the Concertgebouworkest, is at the helm.
The Concertgebouworkest and Krystian Zimerman are performing all five of Beethoven’s piano concertos in a single week, and newly commissioned works will serve to place them in a contemporary context. The music of the successful South Korean composer Unsuk Chin is a spellbinding mix of European and Asian elements.