Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet


Mussorgsky Night on Bald Mountain
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2
Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet: Excerpts

Diego Matheuz conductor
Joyce Yang piano

Audiences should prepare to be enthralled and enraptured in this program showcasing the dark side of love and life.

Romeo and Juliet with a happy ending? That was the mad plan for the ballet that Sergei Prokofiev composed for the Bolshoi in 1935. Thankfully sanity intervened – or, at least, Soviet cultural officers did – and the result is far from a saccharine love story, instead delivering a violent, stormy climate for our star-cross’d lovers. Also on this all-Russian program is a rare chance to hear Mussorgsky’s equally tempestuous Night on Bald Mountain, and one of Rachmaninov’s greatest works, his Piano Concerto No.2. The genesis of this concerto may in part be attributed to one Dr Nikolai Dahl: Moscow physician, amateur musician and hypnosis therapist and the name that appears as the dedicatee. It is said that Dr Dahl and his swinging pocket-watch helped the composer emerge from a crippling depression, enabling him to write the work that would go on to bring him so much glory.

It is performed by award-winning Korean pianist Joyce Yang, who has been described by critics as an ‘astonishing artist’ and makes a welcome return to Melbourne and the MSO. The concert is conducted by Diego Matheuz.

‘Prokofiev’s ear for original instrumental combinations could be as acute as his flair for melodic invention.’ Gramophone

‘Joyce Yang upstaged the view, capturing and holding the attention of a packed house with a performance of music from three (actually four) centuries.’ The Boston Globe

Pre-Concert Talk
3 and 4 June at 7pm, Stalls Foyer, Hamer Hall
MSO Second Violinist Andrew Hall will present a talk on the artists and works featured in the program.

Post-Concert Conversation
6 June at 8:30pm, Stalls Foyer, Hamer Hall
Join MSO Director of Artistic Planning Ronald Vermeulen for a post-concert conversation.

Duration: 1 hour and 50 minutes, including a 20-minute interval


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