Leading Shostakovich around the World this Fall

Oct 12, 2022

Rafael Payare is already making his mark on the music of Shostakovich. Recorded with the San Diego Symphony, where the Venezuelan conductor is currently in his fourth season as Music Director, his 2022 account of the composer’s Eleventh Symphony, “The Year 1905,” has been hailed as “a mandatory purchase,” in which “the ferocity unleashed by Payare and his San Diego players is really visceral, in-your-gut stuff” (Fanfare magazine). Now, having just inaugurated a second tenure as Music Director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (OSM), Payare continues his exploration of Shostakovich’s music. He and OSM perform the composer’s searing Tenth Symphony in Montreal, Zagreb, Vienna and London (Oct 12–28), while the vivid yet often underrated Twelfth Symphony, “The Year 1917,” is the vehicle for the conductor’s upcoming concerts with the San Diego Symphony (Nov 12 & 13) and his debut with the New York Philharmonic (Dec 1–3), where the work has never previously been performed.

About the composer’s Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Symphonies, which date from the years immediately after Stalin’s death, Payare explains:

“In all of Shostakovich’s music, and certainly in these three symphonies, there is a representation of reality that is portrayed in the most brutal way. And while the music makes a strong visceral impact, it is also very deep, conveying the harsh realities the composer faced but also his extraordinary resilience.”

Symphonies 10 and 12 figure prominently in the conductor’s upcoming fall engagements. Find full schedule here.