Friday, February 25, 2011

Honderd jaar Pettersson

Well, I suppose another performance of Pettersson's Symphony No. 7 is better than no performance at all. I imagine Holst fans feel the same pain, hearing The Planets over and over again. Carl Orff fans?

At this time of year I eagerly check the webpages of major orchestras, ensembles, and concert organizers to see what kinds of things are brewing for the next concert season. When I went to the Concertgebouw webpage today I noticed that some of the following season's programs have been announced. I looked at the first few pages of the ZaterdagMatinee series, and, lo and behold, saw Pettersson's name as one of the focus composers for the upcoming year. Could it be, a series of concerts outside of Sweden in one of the world's finest acoustics dedicated to Pettersson?

Heart racing, I quickly scrolled through the digital brochure to find out which piece(s) were going to be played, and, guess what? Symphony No. 7. The rest of the program is filled out with typical audience-friendly Nordic fare (Grieg and Nielsen). The conductor is Roman Kofman, the orchestra the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest (they need all of our support!!!). In case you are wondering, the RFO is a pretty mean band--I remember attending a jaw-droppingly intense performance of Shosty's Symphony No. 4 under Mark Wigglesworth in 2005, so these guys can pull it off. The RFO usually gives concerts in the Vredenburg Utrecht so it is likely this program will be repeated in Utrecht as well, but we'll have to wait and see if this is the case.

So, Dutch Pettersson fans, mark this in your calendars: 17 September 2011, 14.15, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. I might even make an appearance as well, as the Netherlands is a great place to drink beer...


  1. Thank you for posting this interesting discovery. I came across Roman Kofman first as a conductor advocating the eminent Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov. Later on he has been chief conductor of the Beethoven Orchster Bonn und recorded a Shostakovich cycle (MDG) with this band. The cycle was received very controversial by the critics. In principle Roman Kofman seems to be a promising figure. Hopefully, he will acquire a taste for Allan Pettersson, so that we'll get some more Pettersson concerts and also some recordings by him.

  2. Julio,

    The name Roman Kofman sounded familiar to me; thanks for providing more detailed info about him. I never thought of him as a Pettersson interpreter, but then again, it appears that this year there are several other conductors who are programming Pettersson even though I never thought of them as fans of this composer. One of these days I might try to do a little research and write a post on Yuri Ahronovitch, who actually conducted a lot of Pettersson but whose name may be unfamiliar to Pettersson fans. But yes, let's hope that Kofman takes up the Pettersson cause!