Glière is regarded as a great musical icon by the BSO’s Chief Conductor, Kirill Karabits, who also hails from the composer’s native Ukraine. As well as his genius as a composer, Glière had a great reputation as a teacher and taught such greats as Prokofiev, Khachaturian and Miaskovsky. The son of a maker of wind instruments, he studied in Kiev then Moscow before establishing himself as one of the foremost composers living in Moscow, alongside his contemporaries of Scriabin and Rachmaninov. He was later the director of the Kiev Conservatoire and during this time was inspired to make a prolonged study of the folklore and folk music of Azerbaijan.
Glière’s Violin Concerto was the last piece he wrote and was left in sketches at his death in 1956. It was completed and orchestrated by one of his pupils, Boris Lyatoshynsky, another composer familiar to BSO audiences through our Voices from the East series. Find out more about our recording of his Symphony No.3 here.
Violinist Stefan Jackiw, who’ll be playing the concerto, said: “I am so excited to be giving a rare performance of Reinhold Glière’s Violin Concerto. It is a compact, one-movement work that is highly Romantic, filled with soaring melodies, gorgeous orchestration, and propulsive virtuosity in the solo part. This piece deserves to be performed more frequently, and I’m grateful to Maestro Karabits for programming the concerto, and asking me to play it!”
Kirill Karabits said “I’m really pleased we’re able to showcase this beautiful concerto by Glière, a composer whose works have featured throughout the 2022/23 season. It feels fitting that this piece, the last he wrote, was completed by another composer who is known to the BSO and its audiences — Boris Lyatoshynsky. Just a handful of public performances of this concerto have taken place — and we don’t know of any here in the UK — it will be a privilege to share it as we close our 2022/23 season.”
The UK premiere will take place on Wednesday 10 May at Lighthouse, Poole. It will also be livestreamed globally, and Glière’s descendants will be watching the concert online.
A member of the family, said: “This concert is a special event for us, because the Violin Concerto was Reinhold’s last creation. He did it secretly from doctors and his family members during night hours — and it was finished by his best friend and former pupil, the great composer Boris Lyatoshynsky, who was a very kind man. Let today’s concert be a gift for all music lovers — and a reminder of his friendship, an example of mutual interpersonal cooperation as a prerequisite for global peace. Enjoy your life and enjoy our music.”
We can’t wait to share this very special piece of music with you!
Join us to hear this rarely performed piece, in Poole on 10 May. For tickets — or to view the livestreamed performance, which is available until 9 June — click here.