- M.C. Escher’s Imagination (commission) - Hawar Tawfiq
- Noches en los jardines de España - Manuel de Falla
- Pictures at an Exhibition - Modest Mussorgsky
‘Just as a good exhibition makes you feel that different paintings attract and enhance one another, I try to find the right combinations of musical works,’ says conductor – and passionate art lover – Klaus Mäkelä. This Annual Gala, he is taking the comparison between curation and programming very literally indeed.
Insects and beach beasts
The Dutch composer Hawar Tawfiq grew up in northern Iraq in a Kurdish family in which the visual arts played an important role. In composing the work that the Concertgebouw Orchestra commissioned from him, Tawfiq felt the urge to find a source of inspiration rooted in the Netherlands. He settled on the graphic artist Maurits Cornelis Escher (b. 1898, d. 1972), in addition to Dutch landscapes, insects and the artist Theo Jansen’s self-propelling strandbeesten (beach beasts).
Manuel de Falla’s Noches en los jardines de España (Nights in the Gardens of Spain) is an atmospheric triptych of musical watercolours. The Spanish composer had an affinity with French impressionism and lived in Paris for a time. This work dates from that period. It was there that Falla formed close ties with Maurice Ravel, who in turn often incorporated Spanish and Basque influences in his own music.
Exotic colours and rhythms
Ravel also happens to have orchestrated the most famous symphonic art exhibition of all time – Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition for piano, in which we even hear the viewer walking from one painting to the next (in the Promenades). Mussorgsky drew inspiration for the work from paintings by his friend Viktor Hartmann. It was a game of exotic colours and rhythms for Ravel, who might well be said to have repainted these canvases using the notes in the piano score as a starting point.
After the concert, everyone is welcome to attend unexpected follow-up performances in the Recital Hall, the Mirror Hall, the Choir Hall and the Conductors Foyer. Until midnight you have the opportunity to meet each other and the orchestra members.
Would you like to attend the Annual Gala?
Look here for more information and ticket sales.
As a donor (as of Patron level), you have already received your invitation and a confirmation if you have registered. You will receive further practical information about the evening in the week prior to the Gala.
Dress code: Black tie
Concert begins in the Main Hall at 8.30pm
* Donors participating in one of our donation programmes receive two tickets to the Annual Gala. Those donating € 1,500 or more per year are automatically members of the donation programme (with the maximum tax deduction, this comes to net € 808 in 2024).