Back To Top
Entertainment

Stravinsky's once-lost 'Funeral Song' to make Asian premiere in Korea

Markus Stenz debuts as SPO conductor-in-residence

Lost for more than a century, Igor Stravinsky’s “Funeral Song” is being revived and getting set for its Asian premiere in Seoul next month.

The Seoul Philharmonic orchestra will perform Stravinsky‘s long-lost “Funeral Song” during its two-day concert series on Jan. 20 and 21 at the Lotte Concert Hall, marking only the third time the repertoire has ever been performed.

The recently rediscovered 12-minute piece was composed by Stravinsky in 1908. It was first performed on Jan. 17, 1909, during a memorial concert for his teacher Rimsky-Korsakov, before it was lost during the Russian Revolution. 

Russian composer, pianist and conductor Igor Stravinsky (Courtesy of SPO)
Russian composer, pianist and conductor Igor Stravinsky (Courtesy of SPO)

The orchestral piece, which Stravinsky wrote when he was 26 years old, was discovered last year by Professor Natalya Braginskaya at the Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory’s library in Russia. “Funeral Song” made its historical return to the stage on Dec. 2 at the Mariinsky Theater concert hall in St. Petersburg with Valery Gergiev conducting the Mariinsky Orchestra in a program opening a yearlong celebration of the music of Stravinsky.

Now making its way to audiences across the world, the second performance of “Funeral Song” since its discovery will be held in Seoul in its Asian premiere under the baton of Markus Stenz, the newly tenured conductor-in-residence of the SPO.

The Stravinsky piece will be performed as part of the “Markus Stenz Cycle 1: Romantic Revolutionaries” two-concert series. The upcoming concerts also mark Stenz’s official debut as the conductor-in-residence for the SPO. 

Markus Stenz, the newly tenured conductor-in-residence of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (Molina Visuals)
Markus Stenz, the newly tenured conductor-in-residence of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (Molina Visuals)

Stenz, who is also chief conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, has been tapped by the SPO to act as the new conductor-in-residence for three years until December 2019, filling the position that has remained vacant since former conductor Chung Myung-whun stepped down as artistic director amid controversy last year.

Along with Stravinsky’s “Funeral Song,” the upcoming concert will also feature Liszt‘s “Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, S. 124,” and Schumann’s Symphony “No. 2, Op. 61.” Hungarian pianist Dezso Ranki will join the SPO in the performance of the Liszt concerto.

Following its Asia premiere, the score will continue its global journey, being performed throughout next year including the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Tickets to the upcoming Seoul concert series range from 10,000 won to 90,000 won. For more information, visit www.lotteconcerthall.com.

By Julie Jackson (juliejackson@heraldcorp.com)
MOST POPULAR