Concert of the year?
by Eugene Lontos, Gy2
There is an excited mood at Berwaldhallen. With only a few minutes until the entrance of the conductor, the audience holds its breath. This is the concert everyone has been waiting for….
The music of two masters was performed that night. It was one of the concerts on the 26:th and the 27:th November at Berwaldhallen in Stockholm with the Swedish radio orchestra (SRSO), featuring chief conductor Daniel Harding and violist A​ntoine Tamestit, performing Jörg Widmanns viola concerto (a premiere) and Gustav Mahler’s Ninth Symphony. Both are fantastic pieces of music.

The interesting story of the viola concerto began seven years ago, with two handwritten letters by the soloist Antoine Temestit. He sprang the idea of a concerto for viola and orchestra to Widmann and Harding, who immediately became very interested. Through a cooperation with Orchestre de Paris and the Bayern Radio Symfony Orchestra, the work was paid for. This autumn the concerto has been premiered with all the orchestras, and SRSO’s turn finally came.

And what music! An intense dialogue between soloist and orchestra, with some theatrical elements, filled with heavy harmonies and beautiful melodies. This piece really made the orchestra interact, and even as part of the audience one became really involved.

As for Mahler’s 9th symphony, it’s a classic. Composed two years before his death in 1911, this symphony is written with Mahler’s own impending death as well as the sorrow of the recent loss of his daughter in mind. Lasting a full 90 minutes, this is one of the longest symphonies there is, filled with Mahler’s beautiful melodies, counterpoint and rich harmonies.

I asked Jakob Nilsson, a student at Lilla Akademien, for his thoughts on the concert.

Nilsson answered, “I​ really appreciated the concert. It was an amazing and extremely satisfying interpretation of Mahler’s last symphony. Daniel Harding made the orchestra deliver a performance with many emotions and excellent playing from all the sections. This is easily one of the best concerts I have attended this year.”

More students from Lilla Akademien were there too, and in the intermission you could see them standing in groups, eagerly discussing the concert.

I asked why Nilsson thinks it is a good idea for music students to go to concerts like this.
Nilsson said, “Seeing a symphony played live with an orchestra like the SRSO is a very unique experience. It is amazing to see so many talented musicians creating music together. It makes me really inspired to work hard at my instrument to become a better musician.”

I myself think it is very important to have a sense of what you are working towards. I consider several of the orchestras musicians to be my idols.

These concerts are experiences you should not miss, and they are almost free, too. This is a golden opportunity for all students at Lilla Akademien, so take the initiative to go to a concert once a week or so.