The Rite of Spring premiered in Paris over 100 years ago to uproar, blows and wild applause. The work has lost none of its modernity since then: the rhythm, colour, strength and energy of Stravinsky’s work remain entirely up-to-date in what is the composer's most performed and best loved work. Carry on reading
In May 1913 the career of choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky was rising meteorically. He premiered two very different works that month: the Rite at the end of May and, two weeks earlier, Debussy’s ballet Jeux, about a trio of lovers playing in the forest, with its graceful, sensual score. As expected, the performance scandalised Parisian audiences, in a musically intense month. The acclaimed American conductor Kent Nagano, director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the Hamburg State Opera, closes the programme with Saint-Saëns' colourful Egyptian concerto, the last of the composer’s five piano concertos, with Jean-Yves Thibaudet as soloist.