US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visits Liverpool, the home of the Beatles, for two days this week. On Friday she is taking in a concert featuring the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and anti-war protesters have caused some local difficulties, including the loss of the compere.
Ms Rice likes her music. When visiting Paris she visited the Conservatoire Hector Berlioz, and reportedly plays in a weekly chamber music group. The good news is that the Liverpool gig is going ahead, but tight security has meant that the concert programme has been kept a secret until this afternoon. The Liverpool Phil's hard pressed Communications Manager, Jayne Garrity, has just emailed over the details, so here, as a little exclusive, are the headlines.
The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra will perform the first movement of Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances, Bernstein’s Candide Overture and Nimrod from Elgar’s Enigma Variations.
The RLPO will be conducted by Principal Conductor designate, Vasily Petrenko who takes up the baton in September 2006. Recognised as one of the exceptional musicians of his generation, at 29 years old, he is the youngest person and the first Russian in the 165-year history of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic to have been appointed principal conductor.
In addition to the orchestra the young voices of Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Choir will sing Stephen Hatfield's Las Amarillas (do follow that link, a fine young choral composer with a lot of audio files on his site), and other local music groups and dancers will perform.
It is good to see Condoleezza Rice supporting the performing arts in sharp contrast to our own Tony 'air guitar' Blair (left). Nothing too challenging in the programme, but two of the orchestral works are 20th century, and the Elgar only misses out by six months. But it is interesting that the Nimrod variation is well known as a threnody for the victims of war, and in Voltaire's Candide one of the best known passages refers to the execution of the British Admiral John Byng: 'Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres', which translates as 'In this country, it is wise to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others.'
Image credit: Ms Rice - Moveleft.com. Tony Blair - BBC News. Image owners - if you do not want your picture used in this article please contact me and it will be removed. Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk
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