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London Symphony Orchestra/Rattle & Tamestit

Artist Portrait: Antoine Tamestit

Viola soloist Antoine Tamestit

In the first concert of his Artist Portrait, viola player extraordinaire Antoine Tamestit champions Martinů’s rarely-heard Rhapsody-Concerto – and Sir Simon Rattle conducts Shostakovich. 

Antoine Tamestit is the kind of viola player that comes along once in a generation. Critics love him: ‘he possesses a flawless technique and combines effortless musicality with an easy communicative power’ writes Bachtrack. He’s got a tone to die for, too, and here at the LSO we’re excited to make music with him as the latest, endlessly inspiring, collaborator in our Artist Portrait series.

True to form, his first concert breaks the mould. The music of Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů is still a relative rarity in the UK, but when you hear Tamestit play Martinů’s ravishing, late Rhapsody-Concerto, you’ll wonder why. Sir Simon Rattle’s certainly a fan, and he’s chosen the perfect complement to Martinů’s luminous lyricism: the brilliant, sardonic First Symphony by the teenage Shostakovich. It’s as bracing now as it was in 1926. 

Barbican Hall