Disruptive Tradition

Sun. 08/12/24, 7:00 pm
Stadtcasino Basel
Tickets for the concerts will be available from August 19.
Unsuk Chin

Rocaná (Room of Light) (2008) CH

Sofia Gubaidulina

Introitus, Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra (1978)

Chaconne for Solo Piano (1962)

Figures of Time (1994)


What do Unsuk Chin and Sofia Gubaidulina have in common? At first glance, not much. At any rate, the music of the South Korean-born composer, who was taught by György Ligeti, is not characterized by spiritual-religious inspirations and forces for which Gubaidulina, a native of Tatarstan, became famous. It was for this reason that she was also met with hostility in the Soviet Union. What the two have in common, however, is a – more or less fluid – connection to tradition. With the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize 2024, Chin is now also one of the great classics of contemporary music. And both understand eruptive, raging forces as exemplified by Chin's «Rocaná (Room of Light)» from 2008 and Gubaidulina's 1994 «Figures of Time».

In both works, postmodern working methods are exploited, with bold and colourful orchestrations. Interspersed are works by Gubaidulina that symbolize the religious aspect of her work. Or is that just a misunderstanding? «I am a religious Russian Orthodox person, and I understand religion in the literal meaning of the word, as re-ligio, that is to say the restoration of connections, the restoration of the legato of life», Gubaidulina explains. For this profile, Alice di Piazza is a benchmark interpreter. The final version of the rarely performed piano concerto «Introitus», composed in 1978, is the result of a close collaboration with the Italian pianist. Her intensive exploration of Gubaidulina's musical cosmos began with the «Chaconne» from 1962, a piece of radical reduction.

Pre-concert talk at 6.15 pm

CH Swiss premiere
Program subject to change

Photo: Lucia Hunziker


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