“The concert in Berlin,” Yehudi Menuhin wrote later about his Philharmonic debut on 12 April 1929, “was a kind of apotheosis and a milestone in my life.” The virtuoso, then only twelve years old, played the solo part in Bach’s E major concerto and also performed the Beethoven and Brahms concertos. The evening marked the beginning of a great musical career and also commenced Menuhin’s 60-year-long artistic partnership with the Berliner Philharmoniker. On 22 April 2016, Yehudi Menuhin would have turned 100 – a good reason for the Philharmonic Orchestra Academy to dedicate this concert to the violinist of the century as an Homage to Yehudi Menuhin.
The matinee will be conducted by Kolja Blacher, who was First Concertmaster of the Berliner Philharmoniker for six years before his impressive solo career. Besides Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, with which Benjamin Britten set a personal musical monument to his teacher, the programme includes Johannes Brahms’s Second String Sextet, a work that offers innumerable contrapuntal masterstrokes, and in which Brahms’ unrequited love for the charming professor’s daughter Agathe von Siebold also seems to ring out. Besides Johann Sebastian Bach’s Concerto for violin, strings and basso continuo in A minor BWV 1041, inspired by Vivaldi (the finale of which is a violinistic “tour de force” that really puts the soloist to the test), the Menuhin homage will conclude with Beethoven’s “Kreutzer Sonata”, another highly virtuoso work, heard in a version for solo violin and string orchestra by Richard Tognetti.