In the innovative Horizon series, conductor–composer Matthias Pintscher is conducting a sensuous programme based on the theme of Impressions of Japan. The concert coincides with the Van Gogh and Japan exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum (on show from 23 March to 24 June 2018). The pure forms and refined colours of Japanese ukiyo-e (or floating world) prints influenced artists like Van Gogh, Whistler and Debussy. The programme, which lasts just over an hour, features the orchestra’s journey into the night via Takemitsu’s Japanese twilight music and the clean brushstrokes of Pintscher’s violin concerto. You can experience even more nocturnal sounds after the concert at the Entrée Late Night.
Matthias Pintscher is making his first appearance as guest conductor with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, leading it in the Dutch premiere of his violin concerto Mar’eh, a quest for purity in form and structure. The soloist is Leila Josefowicz, who has already made a big impression with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra on several occasions.
Ryoko Aoki performs the Hagoromo suite as ent'acte with four members of the orchestra. It's a new work for string quartet and nō-actor by the young composer Noriko Baba. Ryoko Aoki is unique in the world of nō-theater because she likes to connect the traditional Japanese theater form with contemporary music.
Debussy’s Trois nocturnes make reference to the paintings of Whistler, who was influenced by Japanese prints. Debussy’s colourful ‘Impressionism’, in turn, greatly influenced Toru Takemitsu, the leading Japanese composer of the twentieth century. The refined timbres of his Twill by Twilight depict the moment just after sunset, ‘when twilight turns to darkness’.