Brisbane is set to make international music history on June 19 and 21 when the Queensland Symphony Orchestra plays the original version of the famous Sibelius Symphony No.5  –  a work which has only been performed a handful of times since it was composed in 1919.

The work is being performed  under the baton of conductor Rumon Gamba, with internationally acclaimed superstar pianist Bezhod Abduraimov and the QSO at the June Masterworks even on June 19, and 2 days later at the Maestro Concert, Wizard of the Keys.

This is an internationally significant premier is for the QSO; it cannot be understated how important and exceptional it is for an orchestra in Australia to be given permission to perform this very famous work. Sibelius’s grandson holds all rights to the music and does not let anyone perform non-standard versions of the major works, so it was quite a coup to achieve permission after more than 12 months of pursuit.

While much has been written about Sibelius and his original, very rarely heard, Symphony No. 5 a topline summary can be described thus: he was a genius in symphony, song and chamber, with the 5th symphony a magnificent display of the marriage of the sections of the orchestra. Pianist Behzod Abduraimov is a superstar. He was one of the 30 Brilliant Musicians Under 30 named in Limelight Magazine’s feature this month, and he recently in Boston Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, and generated this review: “Tashkent-born Behzod Abduraimov, was in command from the first note, setting off infernal explosions.”

June Masterworks

Featuring: Conductor Rumon Gamba, Pianist Bezhod Abduraimov

Program: Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.3, Sibelius Symphony No.5Australian Premiere of original version

Arrive early to enjoy a complimentary tea or coffee courtesy of QPAC. Official Radio Partner – Brisbane’s Magic 882.

Saturday 21 June at 8pm, QPAC Concert Hall (Maestro Series)

Wizard of the Keys

Featuring: Conductor Rumon Gamba, Pianist Behzod Abduraimov

Program: Paul Stanhope Elegies and DancesWorld Premiere, Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.3, Sibelius Symphony No.5 – original version

Sparks will fly in Sibelius’ Fifth Symphony under Gamba’s brilliant command, a British conductor notorious for marshalling first class performances. The ‘Rach 3’, well known from the movie Shine, is luxurious and technically treacherous but through Abduraimov’s fingers this Russian treasure will be revealed in glorious tone and explosive power.  


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