Kristian Chong and Nigel Westlake explain some of the challenges involved in the CSO’s final concert of 2016.

Being a soloist for an orchestra is like being an acrobat in a circus. This is the view of Barbara Jane Gilby, Concertmaster for the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, who adds, “when you watch them play live, you always have that question at the back of your mind – are they going to fall? What’s going to happen? I’m sure that’s why people enjoy concertos – it’s the circus element.”  For the final CSO ActewAGL Llewellyn Series on November 2 and 3, pianist Kristian Chong will be the musical acrobat who will perform Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.

Far from concerning himself with the many opportunities to fall during this intricate and challenging piece, Chong thoroughly enjoys Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, “The Rhapsody is so much fun – it really is almost like playing chamber music with the orchestra as the parts are so intertwined and linked,” he says. “The seemingly simple Paganini theme is developed in so many imaginative and inspiring ways – especially in the famous 18th variation but also in almost every part of...

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