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A 40-50 year old man with medium length grey hair wearing a coat looks down at the top of a string instrument.

Altstaedt Plays Haydn & Tchaikovsky

30 June 2024

The world-renowned cellist and master storyteller makes his ACO debut as soloist and guest director.

Altstaedt Plays Haydn & Tchaikovsky

When the cello sings, we hear something akin to the human voice: sensuous, rich, profound. When Nicolas Altstaedt holds the bow, the cello is all that and more, becoming a master storyteller.

It’s been more than a decade since the young cellist burst onto the world stage as a BBC New Generation Artist, with his unruly curls, unorthodox concert attire and pure talent. Since then, he’s piled up musical accolades from the stages of New York, London and beyond. Now is your chance to see his ACO debut as both director and soloist.

Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C major is such an audience favourite, it’s hard to believe it was nearly lost to history. Found in a Prague library just 60 years ago, the score reveals Haydn’s gift for invention. For all his form and symmetry, Haydn was a visionary, breaking musical boundaries with each new work. Two centuries later, his influence is still felt in the music of 20th-century masters Xenakis and Kurtág.

Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations hark back to the classical style of Haydn from a completely different musical world. These enchanting variations for cello and orchestra are by turns virtuosic and lyrical, and will be performed in a new arrangement for cello and strings.

The spirit and jubilation of Haydn is matched by the thrilling energy and wistful defiance of Four Transylvanian Dances by the Hungarian-born Sándor Veress. Written as an ode to a home he could never return to, they remind us that, for all its Classical elegance, Haydn’s music was steeped in the same folk-infused Hungarian rhythms.

Altstaedt’s debut will showcase the many voices of his cello along with the vitality and dynamism of the ACO. This promises to be a very special collaboration.

Presented by the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

A 40-50 year old man with medium length grey hair wearing a coat looks down at the top of a string instrument.

Program

JOSEPH HAYDN (arr. strings) Seven Last Words of Christ (selections)
GYÖRGY KURTÁG (arr. strings) Officium breve in memoriam Andreae Szervánszky (selections)
PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY (arr. strings) Rococo Variations
SÁNDOR VERESS Four Transylvanian Dances
IANNIS XENAKIS Aroura
JOSEPH HAYDN (arr. strings) Cello Concerto in C major

Artists

Nicolas Altstaedt
Director & Cello

Australian Chamber Orchestra

Other information

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