29 March 2024, 6pm
Duration: 2 hours
Price: €12,00 - €20,00
Venue: Cultural Centre of Utena


J. Brahms. Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 83
J. Brahms. Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68

One of today's most prominent pianists Petras Geniušas, Italian maestra Gianna Fratta and the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra invite the audience to an evening dedicated to the music of the great German Romantic composer Johannes Brahms (1833-1897).

Having won top prizes at prestigious competitions, Petras Geniušas has established himself as one of the most talented and mature pianists of his generation. In addition to his regular concert activity in Lithuania, P. Geniušas has gained international recognition in more than forty countries and in the world's most famous concert halls, including the Grand Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully and Avery Fisher Halls in New York, Tokyo's Geijitsu Geikijo and Vienna's Musikverein. The pianist is distinguished by the versatility of his interests and his constant, often risky search for new forms of expression, unconventional musical and spiritual experiences, and has mastered a wide repertoire of classical, romantic and contemporary works. This evening, together with the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, Geniušas will perform Brahms' impressive Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 83, which reveals the composer's mastery and maturity.

The second part of the concert will feature the first of Brahms' four symphonies, which was premiered in Karlsruhe in 1876, when the composer was 43 years old. From the first sketches to the final touches, the symphony took Brahms 21 years to complete. Why so long? First of all, Brahms was very critical and picky about his early works, so he simply destroyed many of them. Secondly, Brahms' friends and audiences expected him to continue in the tradition of L. van Beethoven and to produce a symphony that was commensurate with the nobility and intellectual scope of his works. It was a difficult task. In a letter to a friend, Brahms wrote: "I should never have written a symphony. You cannot imagine how we all feel when we hear the footsteps of a giant like Beethoven behind us." Yet the result was astonishing: an undisputed masterpiece that laid the foundations of the Romantic symphony. The renowned conductor Hans von Bülow was the first to call Brahms' symphony "Beethoven's Tenth". These words were a great honour and recognition of the composer's hard-earned mastery.

This evening, Italian maestra Gianna Fratta will be at the conductor's podium. She is the former student of the Niccolò Piccinni Conservatory of Music in Bari, where she graduated with the highest grades in piano, composition and conducting. She became the first woman conductor to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic, the Rome Opera House, the Bari Petruzzelli Opera House and other renowned symphony orchestras.