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Cambridge live

First woman to win prestigious piano competition plays at the Corn Exchange this week.

Monday 26 November 2018

This Friday, 30 November, Cambridge audiences will hear a concert of Hungarian and Russian music performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Alexander Shelley.

The evening’s featured soloist will be Mariam Batsashvili, who made history as the first woman ever to take First Prize at the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition and is a rising star in the classical world. Hand-picked by the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist scheme, she will perform Liszt’s ecstatic Piano Concerto No 1.

Did you know...

Franz Liszt was the first and greatest piano virtuoso and showman of the 19th century, inventing an intensely theatrical style which left Victorian-era audiences swooning with passionate feelings. He became famous for the white gloves he wore, which he would dramatically strip from his hands before touching the piano keys. His used handkerchiefs were collector’s items and women poured his undrunk wine or coffee into glass phials to be displayed like sacred relics!

This concerto puts Liszt’s exotic Romantic spirit on full display, with cascades of sound, tender duets between piano and clarinet, and rousing fanfares from the strings and brass.

In the second half of the programme, conductor Alexander Shelley leads the orchestra in an intense performance of Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony. Four roller-coaster movements veer from fateful fanfares to poignant melancholy before hurtling through a whirlwind finale and it remains one of his best-loved symphonic works.

Like Franz Liszt, Zoltán Kodály was Hungarian and his Dances of Galánta evoke the traditional folk music from this part of the world featuring rich orchestral colours, ravishing melodies, and a high-energy final movement which brings this long-lost world to life.For tickets book here.