CULTURE

Two concerts by world-renowned British orchestra

One of the world’s most distinguished orchestras is performing a series of universally acclaimed compositions at the Athens Concert Hall. Under the baton of the ensemble’s principal conductor, prominent maestro Valery Gergiev, the London Symphony Orchestra’s program includes two symphonies by Gustav Mahler as well as Jean Sibelius’s Violin Concerto in two sold-out concerts taking place tonight and tomorrow. Tonight’s program will feature Mahler’s Symphony No 4, with soprano Laura Claycomb, followed by Sibelius’s Violin Concerto, showcasing violinist Leo-nidas Kavakos. Lyrical and pensive, the Violin Concerto is one of the Finnish composer’s more distinguished and popular works. It should be noted that Kavakos had made a recording of this work, with leading Scandinavian classical music label BIS, in the early 90s, in which he interpreted the composer’s first – and more demanding – version, with the permission of Sibelius’s heirs. Regarding Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, one of his most characteristic works, it ends with one of the well-known «symphony lieder» (a child’s visionary song about heaven), preceded by «Ruhevoll, poco adagio,» a classic Mahler adagio. Tomorrow, the LSO will again perform Sibelius’s Violin Concerto with Kavakos and will continue with Mahler’s Symphony No 1, also known as «Titan,» one of his first landmark creations which set him apart as a great composer of symphonies. The work includes a favorite Mahler melody – popular French song «Frere Jacques» combined with a melancholic Jewish theme. Besides its musical achievements, the London Symphony Orchestra is known for its highly active and innovative educational and community programs, its very own recording label (LSO Live), as well as work in the world of information technology. Those interested in the orchestra’s educational programs may attend a lecture given by the orchestra’s managing director, Kathryn McDowell, who will speak along with Philip Flood, in charge of LSO’s Discovery programs. The talks will be given in English with simultaneous translation into Greek in the Dimitris Mitropoulos Hall at 6 p.m. today. Admission is free, with priority coupons. Athens Concert Hall, 1 Kokkali & Vas. Sofias, tel 210.728.2333. For more information, go to www.megaron.gr.