welcome to the bso
In Season 1 this year, Brisbane Symphony Orchestra will perform two of the mightiest works of the late 19th century – Dvořák’s symphony no 9 in E minor, From the New World and Brahms’ piano concerto no 2 in B flat major with Brisbane based pianist, Daniel de Borah.
2019 Season 1: new world, old friends
Both these works broke significant new ground when they were written. Although Brahms was a master of classical form and counterpoint, he could also, perhaps thanks to his familiarity with the czardas folk rhythms of central Europe, manage intensely complex rhythms, leading musicologist Michael Musgrave to say of him: “Only one composer rivals him in the advanced nature of his rhythmic thinking and that is Stravinsky.”
The piano concerto is truly a mighty work – 4 movements rather than the usual 3, and lasting almost an hour but never losing its enormous vitality and impact. Brisbane Symphony Orchestra is truly privileged to be able to play this work with Daniel de Borah, whose elegant and fluent style, attention to detail and technical brilliance will bring this pillar of the concerto repertoire to vivid life.
Brahms championed the younger Dvořák and the two remained close. Brahms was on the jury which awarded Dvorak the prestigious Vienna State Prize in 3 consecutive years (1875 – 1877), and thought so highly of him that he introduced him to his publisher, Simrock. He also commissioned Dvorak to write his Slavonic Dances, and Dvořák reciprocated by dedicating his string quartet op 44 to Brahms in 1877. The Slavonic Dances became so popular that Dvořák’s international reputation was launched, leading to his appointment in 1892 as director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York.
Like Brahms, Dvořák was a master of rhythm and melody, and he quickly absorbed the “beautiful and varied themes” of native American music to superb effect in both the Symphony From the New World and the American String Quartet. He did not use any of the original music he heard but said (of the New World symphony): “I have simply written original themes embodying the peculiarities of the Indian music, and using these themes as subjects, have developed them with all the resources of modern rhythms, counterpoint and orchestral colour.”
The theme of the Largo was exquisitely set as a spiritual-style song by William Arms Fisher (“Goin’ Home”) in 1922.
Brisbane Symphony Orchestra is delighted to be presenting the Brahms Piano Concerto No 2 with soloist, Daniel de Borah.
Daniel was born in Melbourne in 1981. His talent as a young player was quickly recognised and he went on to study at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, the St. Petersburg State Conservatory and the Royal Academy of Music in London.
He has performed widely throughout Australia and the UK, appearing as soloist in major piano repertoire with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, the London Mozart Players, the Auckland Philharmonia and the Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras. Daniel’s sympathetic musicianship also finds a natural home on the chamber music platform where he has partnered many leading soloists and ensembles including Brisbane’s own Ensemble Q. Daniel lives in Brisbane where he serves on the faculty of the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University.