Håkan Hardenberger premieres Helen Grime's Trumpet Concerto night-sky-blue

Håkan Hardenberger premieres Helen Grime's Trumpet Concerto night-sky-blue
Håkan Hardenberger
© Marco Borggreve

Håkan Hardenberger will premiere a new Trumpet Concerto by Helen Grime on April 3. The Swedish virtuoso will perform the piece with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by François-Xavier Roth at the Barbican, London, before touring to Germany and Denmark. The concerto, which is inspired by images of nocturnal gardens, has been commissioned by the Koussevitzky Foundation, Library of Congress, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. It will receive its US premiere at Tanglewood this summer, when it will be performed by Hardenberger and the Boston Symphony under its Music Director Andris Nelsons.

The starting point for Grime’s Trumpet Concerto was the theme of night. Her inspiration came from a book of photographs depicting scenes from the natural world after darkness had fallen. Images of organic growth and nocturnal life filled the composer’s mind and are reflected in music that is in a constant state of transformation. The concerto lasts around 20 minutes and is in a single movement, the music evolving over a series of interlinked sections. The work’s subtitle night-sky-blue is taken from a poem by Fiona Benson.

Helen Grime writes:

‘Writing for a trumpet player like Håkan, who has brought to life so many remarkable pieces of music over his career, was a huge inspiration for me. He is a performer whose technique is second to none, which gave me an enormous sense of freedom as a composer. Writing the piece over the course of the pandemic, the uncertainty and shifting reality and circumstances of the past year played a part in suggesting the work’s structure, which is full of transformation, cast in a single movement formed of multiple, shifting and connected sections and textures.’

Scottish composer Helen Grime writes music that has been praised for the precision of its instrumental colour and wide-ranging expression. Her works, which include everything from large orchestral canvasses to intimate chamber settings, often take the visual arts and literature as their starting point. Already this year, her music has been performed by the Orchestre de Paris and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra among others. Recently appointed the first Guest Curator of the Sheffield Chamber Music Festival, she has put together this year’s programme of events which runs from May 13-21. Highlights of the 22/23 season will include the rescheduled premiere of It will be spring soon for soprano Ruby Hughes and the Swedish ensemble Musica Vitae, performances of her Violin Concerto by Leila Josefowicz and a premiere with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Helen Grime

Trumpet Concerto night-sky-blue (2021)

April 3 – Barbican Concert Hall, London WORLD PREMIERE
April 4 – Konzerthaus, Dortmund GERMAN PREMIERE
April 5 – Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg
April 6 – Musikkens Hus, Aalborg DANISH PREMIERE

Håkan Hardenberger, trumpet
London Symphony Orchestra
François-Xavier Roth, conductor

July 10 – Tanglewood Music Festival, Koussevitzky Music Shed, Lenox, MA US PREMIERE

Håkan Hardenberger, trumpet
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Andris Nelsons, conductor

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