2 Jul 2022

SAINT-SAENS: Piano Concerto No 5, 'Egyptian'

From Music Alive, 8:01 pm on 2 July 2022

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New Zealand pianist, Somi Kim with piano

Somi Kim, pianist Photo: Jen Raoult

Somi Kim (piano), Christchurch Symphony Orchestra/Luke Dollman

In 1896, Saint-Saens journeyed to the temple town of Luxor in Egypt where he completed this work. Full of exotic melodies, in the second movement we hear a theme based on a Nubian love song that he heard boatmen sing while sailing the Nile, and even the croaking of frogs. The final movement opens with music that hints at the low rumbles of a ships' propellers. New Zealand pianist Somi Kim studied in London at the Royal Academy of Music where she has been named an associate artist. In 2021 she debuted with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in Gershwin's jazz-coloured Piano Concerto. Kim is sought after as a chamber musician, song accompanist and répétiteur.

After the concerto, Kim played Satie's 'Gymnopédie No 1' as an encore.