Juraj Valčuha | Alexander Gavrylyuk, piano


Juraj Valčuha

Born in Bratislava in 1976, Juraj Valčuha studied composition, conducting and the harpsichord.

He made his début in 2006 with the Orchestre National de France and at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna with La Bohème. He has been the Principal Conductor of the Rai National Symphonic Orchestra since 2009, performing in Abu Dhabi, at the Philharmonie in Berlin, the Festival Enescu in Bucharest, in Rimini, Verona and at the Musikverein in Vienna. He is currently on tour and will perform in Basel, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Modena, Munich and Zurich.

A stunningly virtuosic pianist, Alexander is internationally recognised for his electrifying and poetic performances. Born in Ukraine in 1984 and holding Australian citizenship, Alexander began his piano studies at the age of seven and gave his first concerto performance when he was nine years old.

Sunday 1 March | H 17.30

Auditorium Manzoni




Overture in C major op. 115 “Namensfeier”




Concerto for piano and orchestra in A minor op. 16


Symphony n. 4 in F minor op. 36


Ludwig Van Beethoven

Overture in C major op. 115 “Namensfeier”

Year of composition: 1815

First performance:  December 25, 1815

Zur Namensfeier is a symphonic overture written by Beethoven and dedicated to the Polish prince Antoni Radziwiłł, who is remembered for his patronage of the arts. The title refers to the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the name day of the Austrian emperor Francis I, on October 4th, and while Beethoven made an attempt to complete the work for this day in 1814, he was unable to finish it in time, so he set aside work on it until the following spring. The theme at the beginning is related to what he used to set Schiller’s Ode to Joy in his Ninth Symphony nine years later.

Edvard Grieg

Concerto for piano and orchestra in A minor op. 16

Composition: 1868

First performance: Copenhagen,  April 3, 1869


1. Allegro molto moderato

2. Adagio

3. Allegro moderato molto e marcato

The Concerto for piano and orchestra in A minor is undoubtedly not only one of the best known works by Edvard Grieg, but also one of the most famous of all piano concertos. In the composition, characterized by the elegance of orchestration, Grieg’s keen interest in Norwegian popular music is revealed: in the third and last movement of the concert, the Allegro moderato molto e marcato, in fact there are several similarities to the the halling, a Norwegian folk dance, and imitations of the sounds of the Hardingfele (the Norwegian folk fiddle).

Pëtr Il'ič Čajkovskij

Symphony n. 4 in F minor op. 36

Year of composition: 1877/1878

First performance: Moscow, February 10, 1878


1. Andante sostenuto; Moderato con anima; Valzer

2. Andantino in modo di canzona

3. Scherzo: Pizzicato ostinato; Allegro e Trio

4. Finale: Allegro con fuoco

That in the Fourth Symphony the poetic and autobiographical idea has a much incidence, and that therefore this symphony is not “absolute music” but a sort of symphonic poem quadripartite, it is stated by Tchaikovsky himself in a letter: “Our whole life is a succession of painful realities and ephemeral dreams […] this is essentially the meaning of time.The second movement represents another aspect of our suffering: the melancholy that assails us in the evening, in solitude […]. The third movement is a sequence of disconnected images that flit through the brain in a state of tipsy slumber.[…]. The fourth movement suggests to seek in others the serenity that we lack in ourselves: it’s better to dive into the crowd ”.


With its long-standing tradition, the Orchestra of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna has been led by Musical Directors like Sergiu Celibidache, Zoltán Peskó, Vladimir Delman, Riccardo Chailly, Daniele Gatti, Michele Mariotti. Some of the conductors who have worked with the ensemble include Gary Bertini, Myung-Whun Chung, James Conlon, Pinchas Steinberg, Valery Gergiev, Eliau Inbal, Vladimir Jurowskij, Daniel Oren, Peter Maag, Neville Marriner, Kurt Masur, Riccardo Muti, Mstislav Rostropovič, Esa Pekka Salonen, Georg Solti, Christian Thielemann, Charles Dutoit, Georges Prêtre. The Orchestra of the Teatro Comunale is often invited abroad (The Netherlands, Romania, Spain, France, and Switzerland) and has played in many prestigious festivals (Amsterdam 1987, Parma 1990, Wiesbaden 1994, Santander 2004 and 2008, Aix en Provence 2005, Savonlinna 2006, Macao 2013, Muscat 2015, Guanajuato in Mexico 2017, Paris 2018). A special connection  with Japan has brought to several tours, including the tour in June 2019 in Osaka, Tokyo, Yokohama, Fukuoka, with performances of Rigoletto directed by Alessio Pizzech, and of Il Barbiere di Siviglia directed by Federico Grazzini. 

Its numerous recordings include La Favorite conducted by Richard Bonynge; Oberto Conte di San Bonifacio conduted by Zoltán Peskó, Il Barbiere di Siviglia conducted by Giuseppe Patané, La Fille du Régiment conducted by Bruno Campanella, Le Maschereand La Bohème conducted by Gianluigi Gelmetti, La Scala di Seta conducted by Gabriele Ferro, Macbeth, Manon Lescaut, Rigoletto, La Cenerentola, Messa Solenne,and the video production of Vespri siciliani and Giovanna d’Arco and Wertherconducted by Riccardo Chailly, Armide conducted by  Daniele Gatti, Simon Boccanegra conducted by Michele Mariotti.

The Orchestra, conducted by Michele Mariotti, has recorded a CD under the label Decca with sacred arias sung by Juan Diego Flórez, and an album under Sony with Romantic arias sung by Nino Machaidze. Under Deutsche Grammophon the Orchestra recorded Le Comte Ory with Flórez, and La Nuit de Mai – a selection or arias and songs by Leoncavallo – with Placido Domingo. Under the label PENTATONE it recently released a CD containing overtures by Rossini, to celebrate 150 years since the death of the composer.  

In March 2013 the artistic ensembles of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, led by Michele Mariotti, opened the IV International Festival Mstislav Rostropovich in Moscow, where they performed Verdi’s Messa da Requiem. In October 2015, again with Michele Mariotti on the podium, they opened the Lingotto Music Festival at the Auditorium Giovanni Agnelli in Turin, where they performed Stabat Mater by Rossini, and his Overture and Ballet Music from Guillaume Tell. 

After working with the Rossini Opera Festival for nearly thirty years (from 1988 to 2016), the year 2017 brought new collaborations between the Teatro Comunale di Bologna and the Verdi Festival in Parma, where the Orchestra performed, among other productions, the Stiffelio directed by Graham Vick. Staged at the Teatro Farnese, the show was highly appreciated by audience and critics alike and was granted the Special Prize at the 37th edition of the “Franco Abbiati” Critics award. The Orchestra’s engagements with the Verdi Festival for the Fall of 2019 include Luisa Miller at the Chiesa di San Francesco del Prato in Parma, and Aida at the Teatro Verdi in Busseto. 

The Teatro Comunale’s 2018 production of La Bohème staged by Graham Vick received the Abbiati Award as best show.