The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra has continued its thoughtful and very welcome return from lockdown with another memorable contribution to this year’s celebration of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary. The ASO had been planning to perform all nine Beethoven symphonies this year and, in March, we saw an excellent presentation and analysis of Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony, but then the music stopped. In this unfortunately truncated season, the ASO now seems to be focussing on pivotal Beethoven works, and has engaged outstanding Adelaide-based soloists in two of the great concerti – Natsuko Yoshimoto in the Violin Concerto in September, and here, Konstantin Shamray in the Emperorpiano concerto. Featuring a concerto rather than a symphony as a concert main event is perhaps unusual, but these Beethoven concerti are significant historically and symphonic in scale, and such an arrangement allows a variety of other music to be presented. This is a welcome approach to concert programming.

Konstantin Shamray. Photograph courtesy of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

This concert also featured conductor Nicholas Braithwaite, who was the ASO’s principal conductor from 1987 to 1991 and who was credited with...