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Gautier Capuçon premieres Lera Auerbach’s cello concerto “Diary of a Madman” in Munich

On 27/28 January 2021, cellist Gautier Capuçon and the Munich Philharmonic under Giedre Šlekytė are to premiere Lera Auerbach’s new concerto for cello and orchestra “Diary of a Madman” in Munich.

Gautier Capuçon, who has long been interested in and committed to the works of the Russian-American composer, was available to us for an exclusive interview:

“We met Lera in Verbier in 2010. Meeting her was fascinating, almost passionate. Discovering her music, getting to know her personally as well, is special. And you can’t separate her personality from her world of inspiration, her way of writing. To date, I have played “Last Letter” by her for mezzo-soprano, cello and piano. And then I performed the 24 Preludes for cello and piano, which is an incredible work, with great contrasts. I think it’s just extraordinary. The 24 Preludes are really like a painting.

Lera is an artist who works in many directions, which I unfortunately only found out a little later. I didn’t know that at first. Talking to her about her world and her inspiration and what she creates - music, opera, painting and sculpture, very different art forms, is really something special. Lera always does everything with the same passion, while expressing herself in the most diverse ways.

It is extremely rare to meet a person capable of using such a variety of languages for what moves him or her. The 24 Preludes for cello and piano are works containing very different moods, intensities, passions, purveying a kind of imaginary world. I always rediscover something of the music of Schnittke and Shostakovich in her. That kind of texture and that way of creating sound and harmonies. She is extremely talented and writes very well.

Later I also played the cello sonata with her. It’s really incredible to perform on stage with a female composer, which actually happened to me here for the first time. That is of course very inspiring. To be able to work with a female composer as well is a great privilege. I see her as a composer and as a performer who is also inspired by the people she plays with. It was the same with the piano trio we performed with Leonidas Kavakos, who is also a big fan of her music.

So I played these four works by Lera, and since then we actually always talked about a cello concerto. This project had been on her mind for many years. And I am so happy that this is now becoming a reality. Lera and I have never really talked about the piece. I think Lera knows exactly what she wants. I know she’s already had some ideas, and I can’t wait to discover the music and work it out. I am already very excited about this new adventure together!”

World premiere Lera Auerbach
Concert for cello and orchestra “Diary of a Madman”
Gautier Capuçon, cello
The Munich Philharmonic
Conductor: Giedre Šlekytė

Commissioned by the Munich Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal. Stockholm Philharmonic

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