He has held concerts around the world for more than 50 years. When pianist Howard Shelley comes to Umeå for the first time, it will be as both a soloist and conductor.
Accompanied by the Symphony Orchestra, Howard Shelley will perform Mendelssohn's popular Piano Concerto No. 1. It is a powerful and elegant piece with much improvisation, something of a speciality for Mendelssohn. It is said that child prodigy Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847) wrote music very quickly and easily, but that's not the whole story. He was also very sensitive about what people thought of his music. He worked on his piano concerto for seven years; reworking passages and refining it until he was thoroughly satisfied.
Antonin Dvořák's (1841–1904) cheerful eighth symphony includes both festive trumpet flourishes, playful mimicries of birdsong, and emotional melodies. Dvořák wrote the piece at his country estate and it is clear that he drew inspiration from his beautiful natural surroundings. He was also very fond of Bohemian folk music, which is evident not least of all in the piece's klezmer-inspired second movement.
The concert will begin with the highly colourful music of German composer Paul Hindemith (1895–1963) – Concert Music for Strings and Brass. Hindemith had just immigrated to the US and saw his chance to make a name for himself. And he certainly succeeded! It is an intense and energetic piece, quite unlike the music often associated with Hindemith.
Paul Hindemith: Konsertmusik för stråkar och brass
Felix Mendelssohn: Pianokonsert nr 1
Antonin Dvořák: Symfoni nr 8
Conductor: Howard Shelley
Soloist: Howard Shelley (piano)