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Huw Watkins

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 28 June 2013

Live from St. David's Hall in Cardiff

Presented by Nicola Heywood Thomas

Thomas Sondergard closes his first season as Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales with Mahler's life-affirming 5th Symphony. Rising international superstar Alina Ibragimova is ths soloist and dedicatee of Welsh composer Huw Watkins's violin concerto, premiered at the 2010 BBC Proms.

Huw Watkins: Violin Concerto

Alina Ibragimova (violin)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Thomas Sondergard (Principal Conductor)

Mahler's Fifth Symphony is an all-embracing darkness to light experience, from its sombre opening through struggle, strife, stillness and hectic exhilaration to its tremendous apotheosis. At its still centre is the Adagietto featured in the 1971 Luchino Visconti film 'Death in Venice', starring Dirk Bogarde. Huw Watkins has been described as "the natural heir to the English traditions of Howells, Rubbra, Bax and even Britten" (The Arts Desk). His Violin Concerto was composed for Alina Ibragimova, who is once again the soloist in the concerto's second performance. Since being a Radio 3 New Generation Artist, Alina has gone from strength to strength, a poised, aristocratic performer of breathtaking ability. This concert marks the conclusion of Principal Conductor Thomas Sondergard's first season with the orchestra in Cardiff, through which he "...has proved himself to be a re-energising force" (The Guardian).


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