Kirill Gerstein & Thomas Adès

Sat 22.01.22 20:00

Thomas Adès, Inferno Suite (Belgian premiere)
Thomas Adès, Piano Concerto (Belgian premiere)
Gustav Holst, The Planets, Op. 32


Thomas Adès is composer in residence with the Belgian National Orchestra, and for this concert he will be conducting two of his own compositions. The first work to be performed is a suite with the highlights from Inferno, the first segment of a three-part ballet commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2019. In addition to Dante’s La divina commedia, Thomas Adès also drew inspiration from the music of Franz Liszt, the composer of demonic music for the circles of hell.

The US radio network NPR described Thomas Adès’ Piano Concerto as "the most attractive concerto so far this century". The premiere in 2018 along with the Boston Symphony Orchestra was a great success and the work – written specially for the Russian pianist Kirill Gerstein – has since been performed on many occasions by the most prestigious orchestras. Cast in three movements, this piano concerto is at times reminiscent of the music of Ravel, Prokofiev, Liszt and Rachmaninoff. A strict application of classical forms, the pure harmonies and organic buildup of tension nevertheless make this work above all a typical Adès composition.

After being introduced to astrology by a friend, the British composer Gustav Holst became so fascinated by the connection between the alignment of heavenly bodies and the destinies of people on earth that he decided to devote a major orchestral work to the subject. The Planets, which has become a hugely popular composition, looks at the influence of each of the seven planets in our solar system on the human psyche.

Thomas Adès, conductor
Kirill Gerstein, piano
Brussels Chamber Choir


Kirill Gerstein

How often is it that a piano disc comes along consisting entirely of new music as technically exhilarating in its modern way as any disc of Chopin or Liszt?