Past Event11 Aug 2016


No longer available

Auckland Town Hall

Classical music


  • Sibelius - Finlandia
  • Bartók - Piano Concerto No.3
  • Shostakovich - Symphony No.11, ‘The Year 1905′

When governments get into art criticism it is time to be afraid. The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra presents a concert of music that fell foul of various regimes.
In the late-nineteenth century Finland was ruled by Russia. Sibelius wrote his tone poem Finlandia as a covert protest against Russian censorship. At the time nationalism was so incendiary that the piece had to be performed under neutral titles like ‘Impromptu’.
Bartók was strongly opposed to the Nazi’s and Hungary’s acquiescence to Germany. Increasingly his anti-fascist views caused him to clash with the establishment. Reluctantly he fled his beloved Hungary and wrote his Third Piano Concerto in exile in America.
Shostakovich had a turbulent career which included his music being banned by Stalin, then reinstated a year later – from pariah to merely contentious. The Eleventh Symphony takes a cinematic approach to describing events around the 1905 Russian revolution. Supposedly written about the proletariat’s suffering under the Tsars, the real tragedy was that the proletariat suffered equally, if not more, under the Tsars’ successors.

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