Shostakovich and Britten

Friendship without words

Tineke Vaningelgem, Rubén Amoretti and BoHo Strings
Sun 10/10/2021 - 18:30
Music, Classical
Youngsters (12+)

Ticket prices

€ 25 -check our reductions

When conductor David Ramael founded the string orchestra Boho Strings a few years ago, one of his dreams was to perform Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 14 one day. And now this big dream comes true, earlier than expected. He is accompanied by the amazing voices of soprano Tineke Vaningelgem and bass Rubén Amoretti.

In his later life, Shostakovich was overwhelmed by three major masterpieces: Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and Britten’s War Requiem. In his intense Symphony No. 14, he brings all of them together in an impressive composition for strings, bass and soprano. The work is one long, tormented reflection on death.

This masterpiece is inspired by two memorial symphonies: Schnittke mourns his compatriot, while Pärt remembers Britten, to whom, besides, Shostakovich dedicated his Symphony No. 14.

  • Alfred Schnittke, Prelude in memoriam Dmitri Shostakovich
  • Arvo Pärt, Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten
  • Dmitri Shostakovitch, Symphony No. 14  op. 135 


The works are introduced by a short, specially designed documentaries. Testimonies and images will completely immerse you in the fascinating atmosphere in which the works were created. Especially the autobiography of Galina Vishnevskaja, who was a muse for both Britten and Shostakovich in the 60s and 70s, provided inspiration. Video artist Lise Bruyneel took care of the design and Pieter Bergé was responsible for the composition.

Shostakovich and Britten

Benjamin Britten and Dmitri Shostakovich both managed to write music that is completely unique, ground-breaking and accessible. Maybe that was the real reason for their friendship. Even though they didn’t understand each other’s language, they understood each other’s music perfectly. This theme day zooms in on their relationship, with a focus on their incredibly intense later works.

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