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Unsuk Chin's Beethoven-inspired subito con forza receives its US premiere with the Minnesota Orchestra and conductor David Afkham in October, followed by the West Coast premiere with the San Francisco Symphony and conductor Gustavo Gimeno.

Sonning Prize winner Unsuk Chin’s tumultuous new concert opener subito con forza debuts in the US with back-to-back performances by the Minnesota Orchestra and David Afkham (October 29-30, US premiere) and the San Francisco Symphony and Gustavo Gimeno (November 4-7, West Coast premiere).

Originally composed as part of the Beethoven 250 celebrations of 2020, the compact, five-minute work draws inspiration from the iconic composer’s conversation books, particularly the line: “Dur und Moll. Ich bin ein Gewinner.” (“Major and minor. I am a winner.”) In an interview with writer Thea Derks, Chin explained: “What particularly appeals to me are the enormous contrasts: from volcanic eruptions to extreme serenity.” subito con forza plays with these contrasts, erupting into a first chord with the full force of the orchestra, then subsiding into a hushed string section.

> Watch Klaus Mäkelä lead the Oslo Philharmonic in subito con forza.

Following the UK premiere of the piece at the 2021 BBC Proms, The Times described it as  “effective and eerie, with plenty happening in five teeming minutes. Chin’s ear for colour is her greatest weapon.” iNews wrote: “References to [Beethoven’s] works fizzed in, then imploded—the brass passing the parcel of the Fifth Symphony’s opening rhythm, or the Emperor Concerto’s flourishes derailing—and Chin’s fresh-spirited reinvention of Beethoven’s inner dramatic instinct was seriously impressive.”

subito con forza receives additional territorial premieres throughout the season, including the Norwegian premiere with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and Klaus Mäkelä in December and the Austrian premiere with the Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien and Markus Poschner in January. Also in January, Gustavo Gimeno takes the work to Luxembourg and Germany with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg.

>  Further information on Work: subito con forza

Photo: Priska Ketterer

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