Beethoven Symphony No.4 (c.35’)
Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.1 (c.40’)
John Adams City Noir (c.35 mins)

James Ehnes violin
Donald Runnicles Conductor
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

It’s one of the most talked-about new scores of recent years. And there’s absolutely nothing inimal about John Adams’s City Noir, a sassy, bluesy symphony of Los Angeles, inspired by classic movies and scored for a Mahler-size orchestra. This is music that demands to be heard, and Donald Runnicles has set it alongside the dazzling rightness of Beethoven’s headlong Fourth Symphony and the ominous twilight of Shostakovich’s ormented First Violin Concerto, performed here by James Ehnes – whose “indelible, intellectually gripping” Shostakovich performances have left critics reeling. Three masterworks from three centuries, each speaking to the other – and, more importantly, to us: right here and right now.

Prelude: 6.45pm in the Recital Room
Violinist James Ehnesin conversation.

Post-Concert Coda (approximately 10 minutes after the main concert) James Ehnes, accompanied by Donald Runnicles at the piano, performs Air by AJ Kernis.