W.A. Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20, KV 466
R. Schumann: Symphony No. 4, Op. 120
Alba Ventura, piano
Franz Schubert Filharmonia
Tomàs Grau, conductor
We regret to inform you that, due to an injury to Katia Labèque’s shoulder, the Labèque sisters will not be able to perform at this concert.
We are deeply grateful that pianist Alba Ventura has accepted our last-minute invitation and is accompanying us on this tour to celebrate the centenary of her teacher, Alicia de Larrocha. The pianist Alba Ventura was one of his most outstanding students at the Marshall Academy, a school that transmits the pianistic tradition of Enric Granados and Frank Marshall, of which Ventura is currently its heir.
Ventura will perform the Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20, written in 1785 and considered his most dramatic concerto for piano and orchestra, which takes us to the operatic aesthetics of Don Giovanni.
This concert is part of the events commemorating the centenary of the birth of Alicia de Larrocha.
No, you are not listening to Don Giovanni, but it seems so. More than one music lover can be confused when listening to the beginning of Piano Concerto No. 20, and not only because of the key of D minor that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart uses, just like in opera and in the well-known Requiem. This concerto, written in 1785, is considered his most dramatic concerto for piano and orchestra and transports us to Don Giovanni’s operatic aesthetic.
Robert Schumann often made a slow start on his orchestral works, but once he had made up his mind, he never stopped. He drafted the Fourth Symphony not long after his marriage to Clara Wieck. “I can tell from his behaviour,” she wrote, “that this will be another work plucked from the depths of his soul.” The premiere was overshadowed by the fact that the most famous piano duo of the day – that of Franz Liszt and Clara herself – performed at the same concert. Years later, however, Robert revised the symphony, shaping it into the work we know and love today – full of light and intensity, written from the heart, with a popular appeal that has never waned since the day of its second premiere (1853).
Biography Alba Ventura
Born in Barcelona, Alba Ventura made her debut as a concert soloist at the age of thirteen with the Orquestra de Cadaqués conducted by Sir N. Marriner in San Sebastian and at the Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid. Her career as an international soloist has since taken her to the grandest international stages such as the Wigmore Hall, the Barbican and St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Cité de la Musique in Paris and the Svetlanovsky Hall in Moscow and the most important Spanish concert halls. Her international activity has also taken her to perform in the USA, Colombia, Argentina, New Zealand and China. Ventura has collaborated with conductors such as Antonini, Harth-Bedoya, Hogwood, Mas, Oue, Pons, Ros Marbà and Vásary, and performed with prestigious orchestras such as the Philharmonia, the Hallé, London Mozart Players, the Hungarian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, as well as the main Spanish orchestras.
Alba Ventura is in addition a devoted chamber musician and has worked together with Brodsky, Takacs and Casals quartets, violinists Boris Belkin, Gordan Nikolic, Leticia Moreno, Tai Murray and Lina Tur Bonet, violist Isabel Villanueva and cellists David Cohen and Astrig Siranossian. Alba won the international auditions of the Young Concert Artist Trust (YCAT), was selected for the Rising Stars programme promoted by ECHO (European Concert Halls Organitzation) and has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth Rosebowl by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, the IMPULSA prize by the Fundació Príncep de Girona and the Albéniz Medal by the Fundació Isaac Albéniz.
Her previous album, Études, is a selection of twenty études from Czerny to Rautavaara and was applauded by critics. In 2019 Alba Ventura started the recording of the Complete Mozart Piano Sonatas.
Alba is professor at the Conservatori Superior de Música del Liceu in Barcelona.