Lisa Batiashvili (photo: Chris Singer)

Semyon Bychkov and Lisa Batiashvili perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto

With its its beguiling, heartfelt melodies, its captivating dance-like rhythms and its highly virtuosic solo part, Tchaikovsky’s opus 35 is considered the epitome of the Romantic violin concerto. Ideal for a violinist like Lisa Batiashvili, who – according to the Guardian – knows how to interpret this piece in an intense, radiant and heartfelt way. Semyon Bychkov, a long-standing associate of the Berliner Philharmoniker, also conducts Antonín Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony. Famous for his cheerful, folk music based works, this composition shows a different side to the composer with its melancholic, sombre and combative tone.

Berliner Philharmoniker

Semyon Bychkov conductor

Lisa Batiashvili violin

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major, op. 35

Lisa Batiashvili violin

Antonín Dvořák

Symphony No. 7 in D minor, op. 70

Dates and Tickets

This concert will take place without an audience and will be broadcast live in the Digital Concert Hall and from 20.04 pm by rbb kultur.

Thu, 11 Mar 2021, 19:00


Live in the Digital Concert Hall


In the history of the violin concerto, the years 1878 and 1879 were of particular importance: it was during this period that Brahms, Dvořák and Tchaikovsky composed their only contributions to the genre. Joseph Joachim, who advised Brahms and Dvořák on technical matters, also indirectly had a hand in what is probably the most popular Russian violin concerto: both the original dedicatee Leopold Auer and the young violinist Josef Kotek, who inspired Tchaikovsky to compose the work with his masterly playing, were pupils of Joachim. In German-speaking countries, the concerto initially met with negative criticism, but it soon developed into an international success. The both highly virtuosic and deeply Romantic outer movements – the concluding Rondo is a prime example of a spectacular concerto finale – frame an Andante of heartfelt simplicity.

It was not only an artistic friendship that connected Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Antonín Dvořák, but also a rather curious circumstance in the history of musical reception: of the symphonic works of both composers, only the last three symphonies have become established in the standard concert repertoire. Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony is considered by many experts to be the composer’s greatest contribution to the genre. The first movement, in which a rather sombre underlying mood makes the lyrical secondary theme shine all the more beautifully, impressively belies the cliché of Dvořák as an always cheerful purveyor of melodies. As the composer once wrote, his ʻmottoʼ was: “God, love and fatherland”; in the D minor symphony, this motto is expressed “in the prayer of that deep Andante, in the eros of the vocal themes, in the dramatic optimism of the overall conception” (Kurt Honolka).

This concert features violinist Lisa Batiashvili and conductor Semyon Bychkov, two artists who have been closely associated with the Berliner Philharmoniker for many years.


2021-03-11 Biografien

Semyon Bychkov

Semyon Bychkov was born in Leningrad in 1952. He was a pupil of Ilya Musin at the Leningrad Conservatoire and in 1973, he won First Prize at the Rachmaninov Conducting Competition. He emigrated to the United States in 1975 and has been based in Europe since the mid-1980’s. Music director and chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, Bychkov devised the Tchaikovsky Project with the orchestra, a series of concerts and residencies (Prague, Tokyo, Paris and Vienna ) as well as studio recordings.
With a broad repertoire, Bychkov also works with leading orchestras and at major opera houses in Europe and the US. Past positions include music director of the Orchestre de Paris (1989–98), principal guest conductor of the St Petersburg Philharmonic (1989–94) and of Maggio Musicale in Florence (1992–98). From the season 1997 until 2010, he was chief conductor of the WDR Sinfonieorchesters Köln, a position he also held at the Dresden Semperoper from 1998 to 2003. He appears annually at the BBC Proms with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. In the opera, Semyon Bychkov is widely recognised for his interpretation of Strauss, Wagner and Verdi. He has conducted Elektra and Parsifal at the Wiener Staatsoper or Die Frau ohne Schatten and Tannhäuser in London, among others. Bychkov was named Conductor of the Year at the 2015 International Opera Awards. Since his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in 1985, stepping in for Riccardo Muti at short notice, Semyon Bychkov has returned many times for guest conducting engagements. His most recent visit was in September 2018, when he conducted works by Detlev Glanert, Max Bruch and Antonín Dvořák.

Lisa Batiashvili won the second prize at the Sibelius Competition in Helsinki when she was only 16. After studying with Mark Lubotsky (Hamburg) and Ana Chumachenco (Munich), she began her spectacular international career as a concert soloist, violin recitalist and chamber music performer. She regularly appears on stage with orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, Wiener Philharmonikern, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and Staatskapelle Dresden and performs at the festivals in Edinburgh, Salzburg, Tanglewood and Verbier. The Georgian-born German violinist held residencies at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Rome), the New York Philharmonic, the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Batiashvili is the artistic director of Audi Sommerkonzerte, Ingolstadt. For the 2020 festival, she originally designed a programme to celebrate the festival’s 30th anniversary year, as well as the Beethoven year; due to the global pandemic, an adjusted version with streamed concerts took place under the motto “Together for Music”.
A winner of many awards, the artist received an honorary doctorate from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki in 2018. Lisa Batiashvili plays a Joseph Guarneri “del Gesu” from 1739, generously loaned by a private collector. A guest of the Berliner Philharmoniker on several occasions since her debut in October 2004, her most recent appearance with the orchestra was in January 2019 under the direction of Alan Gilbert as the soloist in Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto.

Buchstaben mit Leerzeichen: 1553

PH 45 (2019-01-24) / HS 2021-03-10

Lisa Batiashvili (photo: Chris Singer)