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ASO kicks off the season with a Norwegian accent

By Jean-Claude Elias - Nov 20,2012 - Last updated at Nov 20,2012

AMMAN — The Amman Symphony Orchestra is kicking off the season with a concert that comes with an unprecedented level of innovation. Titled, “A Sequence of Composers”, the event, that will take place at 7:30pm today at the Al Hussein Cultural Centre, will feature three brilliant young Norwegian musicians performing alongside the local or resident members of the orchestra.

Composer and visiting conductor Carl Nilsen will conduct the ensemble who will be performing three pieces, in the following order: the first movement of Camille Saint-Saens’ violin concerto No. 3; Astor Piazzolla’s famous Libertango, exceptionally arranged here for trumpet; and last but not least, one of his own composition — a Symphony in A minor in four movements. Nilsen is not to confuse with his namesake, Danish composer Carl Nielsen (1865-1931).

Carl Nilsen was born in 1992 and therefore is just twenty! The programming of his Symphony in A minor in Amman this week will be the world premiere of the work. He will then conduct a performance of it later on this month in Oslo, Norway.

Nilsen, who in addition to composing and conducting is a clarinettist, explained to The Jordan Times that whereas his symphony that was written this summer is definitely contemporary, it comes “in continuity” of the late romantic symphonies in terms of tonality and structure, but not in terms of harmonies.

The violin solo part of Saint-Saens’ violin concerto will be played by young Norwegian artist Idunn Lohne. Even younger than Nilsen, Lohne who is 18, has been living in Jordan with her expatriate family for a few years now and has already performed with the Amman Symphony Orchestra. She said: “I have chosen myself Saint-Saens’ piece for the programme.”

Eivind Hannisdal who is 19 and also hails from Norway, will play the trumpet. Talking to The Jordan Times the young musician said, “my education is classical but I also play a lot of jazz.”

It is curious that the three composers chosen for the programme come in “perfect” sequence and in the right chronological order: Piazzolla was born in 1921 just when Saint-Saens died, and Nilsen was born in 1992 just when Piazzolla died. Hence the event’s title: “A Sequence of Composers”.

With all these ingredients in the recipe, Wednesday’s performance promises to be different, in many a way, from the usual concerts in Amman. It is organised by the National Music Conservatory and the Greater Amman Municipality.

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