The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is bringing the world premiere of Michel van der Aa's double concerto to the Acht Brücken Festival in Cologne. The celebrated Dutch composer has written several works for the Concertgebouw Orchestra, including the highly successful Violin Concert with Janine Jansen in 2015. Expectations are high for Van der Aa's new work, to be performed by two world famous solo performers, violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaya and cellist Sol Gabetta. The Concertgebouw Orchestra and soloists are led by Hungarian conductor Peter Eötvös, champion of modern music and an eminent composer in his own right.
Eotvös' own Alle vittime senza nome is an impressive musical tribute to the many refugees from Africa and the Middle East who have drowned during the passage across the Mediterranean Sea. The work echoes the instability of the sea, and in its stylistic contrasts also evokes the cultural diversity of the refugees.
Witold Lutoslawski wrote his Concert for Orchestra after his music was banned by Soviet authorities because of its modernist tendencies in 1954. He found a loophole by using Polish folk melodies, incorporating them into an ingenious contrapuntal structure that sometimes seems almost neo-baroque. This soon became one of Lutoslawski's most popular pieces in the free Western world.