Manchester Collective: Places We Know with Pekka Kuusisto (violin) at Royal Northern College of Music

Manchester Collective: Places We Know with Pekka Kuusisto (violin)
Royal Northern College of Music
2nd December 2022

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poertait of Pekka Kuusisto

Manchester Collective have joined RNCM’s 50th anniversary celebrations as one of their Artists-in-Residence. From side-by-side initiatives and fantastic performances, they’re workinh closely with the students and giving them unprecedented insight into one of the UK’s most innovative chamber orchestras.

It takes real courage to break out of the box.

Once or twice in a generation, music fans embrace an artist who totally redefines what is possible in their field. Pekka Kuusisto is one of these artists. The Finnish superstar violinist is electric in performance, showcasing unparalleled freedom and an infectious disregard for the ‘rules’ of classical music.

Pekka leads the full Manchester Collective string ensemble into an adventurous programme of the familiar and unfamiliar. At the heart of it is a new commission by Oliver Leith – the voice of a new generation of British composers. Described as ‘deadpan, subversive and quietly anarchic’ (BBC Radio 3), Oliver’s music seamlessly crosses the boundary between contemporary classical and electronic worlds.

Elsewhere, we’re transported to the flower gardens, little stone paths and imposing beech trees at the beautiful Dumbarton Oaks estate in the USA. This is Pulitzer Prize-winning Caroline Shaw’s Plan & Elevation. The show is bookended by the outer movements of Tchaikovsky’s titanic Serenade for Strings – a piece full of soaring beauty and nostalgia.

To hear a string orchestra going full pelt is a full-body experience. To hear one led by Kuusisto is something else altogether.

Oliver Leith’s new work has been commissioned by Manchester Collective and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and is funded by the British Council’s International Collaboration Grants

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings (First movement)
Sam Amidon arr Muhly/Kuusisto Selected Songs
Oliver Leith New work
Krzysztof Penderecki Serenade (Second movement)
Caroline Shaw Plan & Elevation
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings (Fourth movement)

Pekka Kuusisto violin
Manchester Collective

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