Emanuel Ax (piano) • conductor: Iván Fischer
Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 in F minor
The deSingel centre for the arts in Antwerp is an important cultural institution for the Belgian Flemish community. Its basic vocation is to use its diverse, multidisciplinary programming as a means to connect the various fields of artistic endeavour: music, theatre and the fine arts. The idea for the centre came from Peter Benoit, while the plans of the building – inaugurated in 1980 in the presence of the Belgian Royal Couple – were drafted by Léon Stynen.
The deSingel Arts Centre is open to contemporary art. It welcomes works from four artistic disciplines: architecture, dance, music and theatre. While it emphasises contemporary art, it also includes innovative, unconventional productions of classical works as well as their more traditional interpretations.
Accordingly, this is where Jan Fabre’s modern dance theatre operates, one which cannot really be classified among traditional genre definitions, along with Philippe Herreweghe and the Collegium Vocale Gent, as well as Hervé Niquet’s Beethoven Academy. It is also in this centre that the Antwerp conservatory is situated, alongside the college for dramatic arts (Posthoogeschool voor Podiumkunsten), the Flemish Architectural Institute, and Antwerp’s Radio 2 radio station.
Among its three theatre halls, the deSingel Centre’s Blue Hall, seating 1,000, is used for concerts, while the 800-seat Red Hall is used for staging dance and theatre performances, and the Small Room, which seats 92, is used for chamber and studio productions. The corridors and areas between the various halls were built to ensure that they can double as exhibition venues. The centre is continuously expanding. In 2011, new elements were completed which can be used for theatre, dance and musical productions.
The Festival Orchestra’s appearance here will begin with Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3, the manuscript of which was discovered by Mendelssohn. Pianist Emmanuel Ax will be playing a true classic: Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor – a popular work despite its serious and profound mood. In the closing work, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, the composer struggles with impending doom, but ultimately prescribes happiness as a panacea for all.