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London Symphony Orchestra/Mälkki

Artist Portrait: Christian Tetzlaff

Conductor Susanna Mälkki

Dancing on the edge of a volcano: Sibelius, Zemlinsky and Shostakovich stared the 20th century in the eye. Violinist Christian Tetzlaff and conductor Susanna Mälkki show us what they saw.

1926: on the brink of silence, Sibelius gazed into the forests. The result – Tapiola – is the haunting centrepiece of a concert that finds Zemlinsky grappling with the jazz age in his punchy Sinfonietta, and Shostakovich probing the human soul under tyranny, in his searing Violin Concerto No 1. Susanna Mälkki has a way of cutting to the heart of the matter, and these are the sounds of an uncertain age.

There’s no mistaking the bite in Zemlinsky’s Sinfonietta, written as the shadows lengthened across 1930s Europe. But this music speaks just as urgently today, and never more so than when Christian Tetzlaff – the subject of our Artist Portrait this season – plays Shostakovich’s masterly concerto, written as Stalin began his post-war purges.

The performance is expected to finish around 9.30pm, including a 20 minute interval.

6pm, Level G

LSO Platforms: Guildhall Artists 

Barbican Hall