CULTURE

Daniel Harding conducts the LSO in Athens

A symphonic summit meeting is set to take place at the Athens Concert Hall on February 12 and 13, when acclaimed British conductor Daniel Harding leads the London Symphony Orchestra at the venue?s Christos Lambrakis Hall. The upcoming performances will feature soloists Helene Grimaud and Janine Jansen.

The two nights will be defined by a mix of tradition, boldness and freshness. The February 12 concert is billed as a musical dialogue between Richard Strauss (?Don Juan? and ?Thus Spake Zarathustra?) and Robert Schumann (Piano Concerto, Opus 54) with Grimaud at the piano. On the following evening, the program includes Richard Wagner?s ?Siegfried Idyll,? Johannes Brahms?s Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77, and Richard Strauss?s ?Death and Transfiguration,? featuring Jansen on the violin.

In the case of Harding no introductions are necessary — at least as far as the Athens Concert Hall?s public is concerned. The upcoming concerts will mark the celebrated maestro?s third appearance in this country: His Greek debut took place in October 2008, when he conducted the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, of which he has been principal conductor since 2003. He was back in town in May 2009, leading Amsterdam?s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Born in Oxford in 1975, Harding began his career as assistant to Sir Simon Rattle at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra when he was 16. He then proceeded to work under Claudio Abbado at the Berlin Philharmonic, effectively conducting the legendary orchestra when he was only 19 years old.

Harding is currently the principal guest conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. He is also a symbol of youth, change and renewal in the world of so-called serious music.

Athens Concert Hall, 1 Kokkali