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From Sufjan Stevens & Jonny Greenwood to Szymanowski

Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, The National’s Bryce Dessner, and American singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens were all influenced by great composers. In this program, they join forces with the source of their inspiration, Polish nationalists Karol Szymanowski and Witold Lutosławski.

A favourite of Richard Tognetti’s, Szymanowski’s surging String Quartet No.2 is a fusion of neoclassicism and Polish folk music. Lutosławski’s Overture for Strings is an almost dizzyingly multifaceted experiment, with one foot in neoclassicism and the other in the avant-garde.

Bryce Dessner’s Réponse Lutosławski is a homage to Lutosławski, whom he credits with having illuminated the way forward in his own musical development. Jonny Greenwood cites another Polish composer, Krzysztof Penderecki, as contributing to his experimental musical language. The suite from Greenwood’s film score, There Will Be Blood, is foreboding, hopeful and beautifully evocative.

Sufjan Stevens is widely celebrated as an American indie luminary. Run Rabbit Run is a précis of his 2009 album Enjoy Your Rabbit. Rhythmic drive, catchy melodies and mesmerising string sounds make for an energising and immersive experience.


Details are correct at time of publication

  • Lutosławski
    Overture for Strings
    Bryce Dessner
    Réponse Lutosławski (Australian Premiere)
    Sufjan Stevens
    (arr. Michael Atkinson) Suite from Run Rabbit Run
    Penderecki
    Three Pieces in Baroque Style: I. Aria
    Jonny Greenwood
    Suite from There Will Be Blood
    Szymanowski
    (arr. Richard Tognetti) String Quartet No.2
  • Director
    Richard Tognetti