Tianyi Lu: Conductor
Sara Lee: Piano
Leonie Holmes: Elegy
Rachmaninov: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Shostakovich : Symphony No. 9
After 45 years in Russia and after the 1917 Revolution, Rachmaninov made the move to America. His Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, written in 1934, consists of 24 brilliant sparkling variations, with No. 18 becoming popular in its own right. Soloist Sara Lee, a University of Otago piano student, started her piano studies in Moscow, and she has gone on to win many international competitions and awards.
Shostakovich spent his whole life in Russia. He completed the ninth symphony in 1945 and said of it “a transparent, pellucid, and bright mood predominates.” The Russian authorities, however, were not amused and the symphony was banned until 1955.
Opening the programme is NZ composer Leonie Holmes’ gentle and evocative Elegy. Regarding Tianyi Lu’s 2019 dèbut concert with the DSO, the ODT reviewer noted that she directed the orchestra with ‘effervescent personality and enthusiasm’ and that ‘her entire being ‘’danced’’ with never-flagging body language”. Her return in 2021 is much-awaited.