Andrew Webb-Mitchell


Barry Douglas gives World Premiere of Andrew’s Piano Concerto

Pianist Barry Douglas and Eduard Topchjan’s Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra have embarked on a nine city tour of China with a programme featuring Andrew’s new piano concerto. The world premiere took place in Zhuzhou on December 20th, before moving on to Shanghai, Changsha, Qianjiang, Nanning, Baoji, Changshu, Taiyuan and Shenyang. Andrew’s Zhuhai Classical Children’s Choir also appeared in the Changsha concert, singing works by Tchaikovsky and Johann Strauss II.

The piano concerto was began during the covid lockdown of 2020. China’s prolonged struggle with the pandemic prevented foreign orchestras from visiting China during the subsequent three years and the premier was delayed several times. After finally receiving the go ahead to resume touring at the beginning of this year, impresario Wray Armstrong invited legendary pianist Barry Douglas and the Armenian National Philharmonic to present the work to the public.

The piano concerto is in three large-scale movements and lasts for 38 minutes. One of the principle themes introduced in the introduction to the first movement ‘Waldeinsamkeit’ describes the isolation and helplessness that so many of us experienced during the pandemic. This theme gradually emerges from the crisis, first returning as a duet with a consoling flute, and eventually concluding the concerto as a triumphant chorale.


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