Snow or no snow, BOZAR and the Belgian National Orchestra like go in hard when it comes to the festive season.
Two traditional concerts, two excellent reasons to celebrate the holidays with us.
Tchaikovsky’s famous Nutcracker ballet is the perfect Christmas choice when you know that its story begins on the 23rd of December, when Clara’s uncle gives her a nutcracker that turns into a prince. All the toys spring to life and a night like none other begins, transformed by the magic of Christmas.
The Nutcracker was far from being the Russian symphonic genius’ first foray into ballet. He had already created the incredibly successful Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. If the first two works tell tales taken from stories and legends, this third ballet is staged as a magical allegory.
As such, it made perfect sense to put this concert on for schools before the holidays, on the 21st of December at 11am. Striking visuals are provided by Kseniya Simonova, winner of 2009’s Ukraine’s Got Talent, famous for her art performances using sand. She has a particularly poetic surprise performance up her sleeve, in the same dreamlike spirit of the tale.
The second performance is open to the general public and takes place on the 22nd of December at 7pm.
It’s impossible to have a New Year Concert without the Strauss dynasty waltzes and dances. The timeless Blue Danube and the vivacious Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka are reminiscent of the atmosphere of Imperial Vienna at the end of the 19th century.
The young British conductor Duncan Ward is also bringing us music from another Strauss -this time Richard- Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, a work full of spirit and grace, just like George Butterworth’s Banks of Green Willow and other works heard less often at this time of year.
The ensemble sparks feelings of freshness and energised tonality, both of which are more than welcome in the first days of 2018, as you will discover on the 7th of January at 3pm.