A Hero’s Life

Fri 13.09.24 20:00
€ 64 - 18

Annelies Van Parys, Eco … del vuoto (Belgian premiere)
Sergei Prokofiev, Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, op. 26
Richard Strauss, Ein Heldenleben, TrV 190, op. 40



The Belgian National Orchestra starts its new season with the Belgian premiere of Eco ... del vuoto, a work written by Annelies Van Parys in tribute to her late teacher Luc Brewaeys. As in Luc Brewaeys' spectral work, Annelies Van Parys focuses not on themes and melodies, but rather on sounds, colours and shifting textures.

The Third Piano Concerto is the most famous of the five piano concertos by the Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev. This three-movement work is particularly virtuosic and brimming with vitality. Lyrical passages are wittily embellished by a multitude of dissonances. Prokofiev completed the Third Piano Concerto in 1921 and played the piano part himself at the premiere by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Frederik Stock. The renowned pianist Boris Giltburg, who won the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2013, guarantees a brilliant performance led by chief conductor Antony Hermus.

"Why should I be less interesting than a Nero or a Napoleon?" The main theme of Richard Strauss's symphonic poem Ein Heldenleben is none other than the composer himself. Far beyond the shameless self-promotion that Strauss is sometimes accused of, Ein Heldenleben is a semi-ironic portrait of a Kapellmeister who struggles to digest the colossal failure of his first opera. Richard Strauss employs a vast orchestral force to evoke his personality, his concubine, a magnificent romance, his critics and detractors, and the humorous battle he wages against them. After a resounding victory, Strauss presents some magnificent quotations from other symphonic poems signed by his own pen. The hero then departs from the world and renounces all fame. This final movement, with its particularly colorful orchestration, may be the only one devoid of any autobiographical elements.


Antony Hermus, conductor
Boris Giltburg, piano


© Sacha Gusov


Antony Hermus

Antony Hermus was recently appointed Chief Conductor of the Belgian National Orchestra, starting an initial four-year term in September 2022 with a Designate year.