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Unsuk Chin's new Clarinet Concerto for Finnish virtuoso Kari Kriikku has received first performances in Gothenburg, New York and Cologne.

Clarinettist Kari Kriikku is travelling widely with Unsuk Chin’s new concerto, premiered by the Gothenburg Symphony last year, given its US premiere by the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert in September and its German premiere by the WDR Symphony in Cologne in January. Further performances follow this year by co-commissioners the Orquestra Simfonica de Barcelona (9 May) and the Philharmonia Orchestra in London (22 October).

As the Financial Times noted in New York, Kriikku “performed in stunning virtuoso fashion, including samples of just about every sound a clarinet is capable of producing.”

"...the ethereal solo that opens the slow movement sounded like two distant voices mingling in a pungent blend of chanting and sighing...  The effect is not spooky, but spellbinding. The music unfolds in fits and starts, with the clarinet breaking loose like some avant-garde jazz improviser... The last movement, true to its title, Improvisation on a Groove, is fractured, restless and brash. Mr Kriikku gave a vivid, colourful and technically stunning account of this elusive concerto. Ms Chin received a rousing ovation when she came onstage."
New York Times

The recent Deutsche Grammophon collection of three Chin concertos attracted enthusiastic reviews and was selected by many critics as one of the best releases of 2014. The disc combines the Piano Concerto, Cello Concerto and sheng concerto Su, performed by soloists Sunwook Kim, Alban Gerhardt and Wu Wei and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra under Myung-Whun Chung. As Gramophone noted, “Chin is one of the best contemporary exponents of purely instrumental music drama, and these concertos provide absorbing listening… A highly successful CD”.

> Listen to audio clips of Chin's concertos

>  Further information on Work: Clarinet Concerto

Photo: Priska Ketterer

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