For the first time in its history, the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, under Cristian Mandeal, will play Shostakovich’s huge Symphony No 4, which will also be the Serbian premiere of this piece, scheduled on Friday, 19 January (Kolarac, 8pm). The concert will be opened by the orchestra’s principal cellist Aleksandar Latković, appearing as the soloist in front of his own orchestra in the performance of a piece by Boccherini.

From all Shostakovich’s symphonies, the Fourth requires the largest orchestra composition, which will be quite a challenge considering that Kolarac stage will have to be big enough for 109 performers. This combatant symphony was withdrawn by the composer ahead of its premiere in 1936, under the pressure of the Soviet authorities. As a result, it was not premiered until 25 years later in Moscow. According to available records, it has never been played in Serbia and Cristian Mandeal has also never conducted this demanding piece in his rich career.

The symphony will be preceded by a concerto by Boccherini, a innovative composer and cello virtuoso who was unjustly neglected in his time. For this occasion, Aleksandar Latković will leave his post of the principal cellist and stand in front of his fellow musicians as the soloist:

“I am very fortunate to be able to contribute to classical music in several roles – I am a part of a big community, the most sought-after orchestra in the region, while at the same time I play the cello in the Belgrade Philharmonic String Quartet, and I also occasionally teach. I am looking forward to this concert with impatience, excited about the opportunity to play as a soloist with my home orchestra”, said Latković.

Everyone who is interested in the virtuosity of the BPO cellist and in the Serbian premiere of Shostakovich’s sonorous symphony will be able to purchase standing tickets one hour ahead of the concert, i.e. from 7pm, at the Kolarac Ticket Office.