Concert in St. Petersburg to the 80th Anniversary of the Liberation of Leningrad

January 28, 2024 – 20:00
Great Hall of the D. D. Shostakovich St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonia
Concert dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the full liberation of Leningrad from the Nazi siege
Conductor – Vladimir Spivakov
Barber. Adagio
Shostakovich – Barshai. Chamber Symphony, Op. 110а
Schwartz. Concerto for orchestra «Yellow Stars»


On January 28, the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia directed by Vladimir Spivakov will give in the Grand Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonia a concert, which will close the cycle, dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the full liberation of Leningrad from the Nazi siege. The night will be also part of the “Orchestral Geography of Russia” subscription series.

The St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonia is remembering in January one of the most important dates in the history of the Northern capital with a series of concerts to the  80th commemoration of the end of the Blockade as an offering to Leningrad's defenders and heroic citizens, also to the musicians who continued playing in the assailed city. The cycle features works written during the War, related to the tragic pages of the Russian and world history, and those performed in the Philharmonia in the times of the siege.

Vladimir Spivakov included into the NPR's program the famous Adagio by Samuel Barber (the well-known miniature regarded as the epitome of tragic touch in music), the Chamber Symphony by Shostakovich (Rudolf Barshai's orchestral transcription of the Eighth Quartet with a dedication “To the memory of the victims of Totalitarism and of World War II”); and the “Yellow Stars” Concerto for orchestra (aka “Purimspiel in a Ghetto”) by Isaac Schwartz.

The idea of creating the “Yellow Stars” Concerto came to Schwartz when he was reading the memoirs of a prisoner of the Kaunas Ghetto, who remembered a light Purim fest there (the holiday commemorating the saving of Jewish people from annihilation in the times of Achaemenid Empire as recounted in the Book of Esther), which turned into a feast “with a cord around the neck”. The Concerto first edition was dedicated to the memory of Raoul Wallenberg who saved tens of thousands of Jews during the War, whereas the final second edition is addressed to Vladimir Spivakov. In May 2004 Spivakov and the NPR recorded the Concerto under the Capriccio label, and also performed it at the “Let me people live” Holocaust Forum in Prague on January 27, 2015.

The NPR's concerts in St Petersburg will be held within the All-Russia Philharmonic Seasons Program of the RF Ministry of Culture and the Moscow Philharmonic Society.


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