Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra performs world premiere by Erkki-Sven Tüür
On 6 and 7 December 2017, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will premiere the piccolo concerto Solastalgia by the Estonian composer Erkki-Sven Tüür. The soloist is Vincent Cortvrint, the orchestra’s very own piccolo player. At the orchestra’s helm is conductor Stéphane Denève. The programme also features Maurice Ravel’s Ma mère l’oye and Jean Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2.
One of the most successful composers to hail from the Baltic States, Erkki-Sven Tüür wrote Solastalgia specially for the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and its piccolo player Vincent Cortvrint.
It was Cortvrint himself who decided last year to celebrate his twentieth anniversary with the orchestra with a newly commissioned work. ‘There’s next to nothing out there for piccolo and orchestra, and I love new music,’ Cortvrint was recently quoted as saying in Preludium. ‘So I approached our artistic director Joel Ethan Fried with the idea of commissioning a composer to write a new work. Erkki-Sven Tüür’s musical virtuosity appealed to me right away. His music is diverse, colourful and very personal. To be honest, he was my first choice from the outset.’
The term solastalgia was coined by the Australian ecologist Glenn Albrecht to refer to the sense of no longer feeling at home in one’s own environment because it is undergoing dramatic structural changes.
Erkki-Sven Tüür, who lives on the island of Hiiumaa in the Baltic Sea, explains: ‘I notice how my life in this amazing place is becoming more and more illusory.… It is here that I experience the effects of global climate change first-hand. There’s nowhere left to hide from the changes caused by human activity. When I see the massive deforestation here on Hiiumaa or the rampant spread of palm oil plantations when I travel to South-East Asia…, I’m overcome by a terrible, sinking feeling.… What I actually want to say is that the title of this work isn’t just some fashionable term that has a nice ring to it – it’s my daily reality. It really does affect me.’