Sakari Oramo (Foto: Benjamin Ealovega)

Sakari Oramo (Foto: Benjamin Ealovega)

Sakari Oramo conducts Chin and Sibelius

In 2006, Sunwook Kim won the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition – just 18 years old and the first Asian pianist to do so. With his colourful, virtuosic style of music-making, the South Korean soon found an international audience. He now makes his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker with Unsuk Chin’s brilliant and rhythmically challenging Piano Concerto. Sakari Oramo also conducts Sibelius’s mystical and poetic Second Symphony.

Berliner Philharmoniker

Sakari Oramo conductor (replacing Alan Gilbert)

Sunwook Kim piano

Unsuk Chin

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra

Sunwook Kim piano

Jean Sibelius

Symphony No. 2 in D major, op. 43

Hinweis: Zwischen den Programmpunkten gibt es eine 10-minütige Umbaupause. Wir bitten Sie, währenddessen unbedingt an Ihrem Platz sitzen zu bleiben. Vielen Dank für Ihr Verständnis.

Dates and Tickets

Unfortunately, this concert is cancelled.

Thu, 03 Jun 2021, 20:00

Philharmonie

Unfortunately, this concert is cancelled.

Fri, 04 Jun 2021, 20:00

Philharmonie

Sat, 05 Jun 2021, 19:00

Philharmonie

Live in the Digital Concert Hallgo to broadcast

Programme

Sakari Oramo has already conducted music by his fellow countryman Jean Sibelius with the Berliner Philharmoniker several times since his debut in 2001. In this concert, we hear the composer’s Second Symphony, which, along with the Violin Concerto written a few years later, is one of his most popular works. To mark his guest appearance with the Philharmoniker in October 2018, Oramo said in an interview for the Digital Concert Hall that Sibelius “reinvented the symphonic form in each of his symphonies”. Through a tight web of motivic correlations, the work is a compelling masterpiece, fascinating for its atmospheric intensity and idiosyncratic formal logic. The symphony begins in a restrained, lyrical manner and ends, after a thrillingly staged transition from the third movement to the finale, with triumphant, radiant sounds. Because of its optimistic spirit, the D major Symphony was one of the favourite works of the Finnish independence movement.

The contemporary piece on the programme is the Piano Concerto by Unsuk Chin, whose solo concertos for violin and cello have already been performed by the Berliner Philharmoniker. “I wanted to emphasise particularly the vitality, kinetic and virtuoso aspects – in short, the playful side – of the piano,” the composer said of her work, written in 1996 and 1997. The soloist is the young pianist Sunwook Kim, who has also recorded Unsuk Chin’s concerto and is making his debut with the Philharmoniker in this concert.

Biography

Sakari Oramo is chief conductor of both the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. Prior to that, from 2003 to 2012, he was in charge of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra where he made a sensational conducting debut in 1993, standing in at short notice for an indisposed colleague. The native Finn, who trained as a violinist and conductor, had previously been a concertmaster with the orchestra. From 1998 to 2008, Sakari Oramo was music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his regular duties, he has also appeared as a guest not only with the major orchestras in Scandinavia, but also with the Czech Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. The conductor’s repertoire focuses on Finnish and English music: in 2008, he was awarded the Elgar Society medal and in 2015, he was voted conductor of the year by the Royal Philharmonic Society. Sakari Oramo has conducted the Berliner Philharmoniker on several occasions since his debut in May 2001, most recently in October 2018 with the European premiere of Brett Dean’s Cello Concerto (with Alban Gerhardt) and works by Edvard Grieg and Jean Sibelius.

Sunwook Kim came to international recognition when he won the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition in 2006, aged just 18, becoming the competition’s youngest winner for 40 years, as well as its first Asian winner. Since then he has appeared as concert soloist with the London Symphony Orchestra (under John Eliot Gardiner and Daniel Harding), the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra (with Myung-Whun Chung), the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin (under Marek Janowski), the NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg and Finnish Radio Symphony (with Sakari Oramo and Tugan Sokhiev). Recitals include appearances at the Wigmore Hall, the Philharmonie de Paris and at renowned festivals such as Aix-en-Provence and Klavierfestival Ruhr. With his colourful, virtuosic style of music-making, the South Korean soon found an international audience. Born in Seoul in 1988, Kim began playing the piano at the age of three and gave his concerto debut aged 12 years. He went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He now makes his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker with Unsuk Chin’s Piano Concerto.

Sakari Oramo (Foto: Benjamin Ealovega)

Sakari Oramo (Foto: Benjamin Ealovega)

Sunwook Kim (Foto: Marco Borgreve)

Sunwook Kim (Foto: Marco Borgreve)