THIS SCEPTRED ISLE
ASSEMBLY HALL, WORTHING
Friday 23rd April 2023 at 2.45pm
William Walton. Crown Imperial
Harold Wibley Sussex Overture
Sergei Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini
Edward Elgar Symphony No. 1 in Ab major
Soloist: ARTA ARNICANE (piano)
Conductor: JOHN GIBBONS
Leader: JULIAN LEAPER
The final concert of WSO’s 2022/23 Season welcomes Latvian pianist Arta Arnicane, who was the winner of the 1st Sussex International Piano Competition, and is well known to local audiences for her dazzling, intensely musical performances. She returns to Worthing to play Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini. Composed in Switzerland in 1934, it comprises 24 variations on the 24th Caprice for solo violin by Paganini. It includes the sublime 18th Variation, often included on its own in classical compilations. Here the theme is turned upside and given the full romantic treatment.
Edward Elgar’s great Symphony No.1 in Ab major was a major sensation when premiered by the Halle Orchestra conducted by Hans Richter in 1908. A few days later, at the first rehearsal with the London Symphony Orchestra, Richter declared “Gentlemen, let us now rehearse the greatest symphony of modern times, written by the greatest modern composer – and not only in this country."
William Walton’s Coronation March Crown Imperial was composed in 1937 for the Coronation of Geoge VI and has deservedly remained one of the most popular pieces in the genre
This concert also includes a true rarity: the Sussex Overture by Sussex resident Harold Whibley who died in Worthing in 1984.
The professional orchestra of
Communication with the audience, as well as talent for creating a special concert atmosphere have taken the young Latvian pianist Arta Arnicane to a large variety of performance venues across the world. Her quality of winning listeners’ full attention, combined with the warmth and intelligence of her programmes and interpretations, allows her to fascinate both small gatherings and large audiences in concert halls such as the Rudolfinum, Prague and the Zurich Tonhalle.
Born into a family with a strong and longstanding musical tradition, she started playing the piano and composing at the age of four. Supported by numerous scholarship awards and eminent artists such as John Lill and Homero Francesch, Arta has studied in several countries and graduated with distinction from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (2004), the Latvian Academy of Music (2008), and Zurich University of the Arts (2010 and 2012).
Her professors Sergejs Osokins, Norma Fisher and Homero Francesch influenced the artistic development of Arta’s personality and guided her into the international music scene. Arta has won many prizes at international music competitions, including the ‘Vianna da Motta’ (2001), ‘Premio Iturbi’ (2010), and ‘Prague Spring’ (2011) to name but a few.
Arta has an extensive solo repertoire and her interpretations of the Mozart piano concertos as well as impressionistic music have always won special appreciation. She collaborates regularly with conductors John Gibbons and Martin Lebel, and is in demand as a soloist with youth orchestras for her temperament and ability to inspire. Arta is also an enthusiastic chamber musician and performs regularly in a duo with her husband, German cellist Florian Arnicans. The first ‘Duo Arnicans’ CD was released by Solo Musica in 2015, featuring an emotionally charged programme of sonatas by F. Chopin and E. von Dohnanyi.
Arta is especially devoted to creating thematic and narrative programmes, as well as untraditional concert forms. In 2016 the renowned Latvian stage director Uģis Brikmanis combined the ‘Aqua’ performance in Riga with a visual production, taking the audience to another dimension of artistic experience. Meanwhile, the atmospheric concept of the CD ‘Aqua’ has been generously created by the Swiss photographer Thomas Entzeroth, inspired by the aura of the city of water and birthplace of the Barcarole: Venice.