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On 13 June the UvA Orchestra J.Pzn Sweelinck will present a spectacular programme exploring the concept of identity through music. At the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the orchestra will perform a unique combination of musical compositions by Strauss.
Event details of Sweelinck Orchestra in the Concertgebouw
13 June 2024
20:15 -22:30


  • Richard Strauss - Don Juan
  • Modest Moesorgski’s - Songs and Dances of Death
  • Rachmaninoff - Symphony no. 2

Don Juan

In Strauss' powerful work Don Juan, the legendary womanizer's quest for an ideal wife is explored. Don Juan enjoys life to the fullest, until he completely loses the courage to find a woman. Out of pure despair, he commits suicide, bringing the piece to a tragic end. Strauss knows how to bring Don Juan’s life journey and identity crisis to life in a masterful way through lush melodies.

Songs and Dances of Death

Next, star soprano Nataliia Shumska will solo in Moesorgski’s Songs and Dances of Death. Together with the orchestra, she will take you on a journey through the four parts of this dramatic song cycle, in which death is personified as different characters. Moesorgski’s Russian identity is clearly audible in the piece. He wrote his work during times of great social unrest in Russia and infused his strong sense of nationalism into the music. Ironically, Moesorgski never got to experience the premiere of his work himself: before it was fully completed, he died from excessive drinking.

Symphony no. 2

To end on a positive note, Rachmaninoff's expressive Symphony No. 2 will be performed. This emotional symphony is imbued with the vibrant life energy that Rachmaninoff rediscovered after a long period of depression. After a new start in Germany with his family and achieving several successes in his career, Rachmaninoff managed to regain control of his life and write the most beautiful melodies, guided by his emotions. He showcases his own identity in his work in an exceptional way.