Brussels Philharmonic | Contemporary composers

Contemporary composers

Thomas Fiorini, double bass player with the Brussels Philharmonic, realizes his dream: to have a concerto for bass composed, performed and recorded!

Together with composer Robert Groslot, he created Concerto for E-Bass and Orchestra in 2019. For years, Thomas Fiorini had been dreaming of a concerto for bass guitar, an instrument that had not yet acquired its own place within classical music. Groslot's composition changes this: it explores the technical limits of the instrument and creates a unique symbiosis between the orchestra and the soloist.

An unusual commission

An equally innovative work is Robert Groslot’s Concerto for Bass Guitar and Orchestra written in 2019. A large part of the orchestral repertoire of the Belgian composer, conductor and pianist consists of concertos: between 2009 and 2013, Groslot wrote 16 concertos for different solo instruments, but bass guitar had not yet been among them. Groslot was thus pleasantly surprised when he was commissioned to write one by Thomas Fiorini and Brussels Philharmonic: “It may seem odd to write a concerto for bass guitar – it is not a typical ‘classical’ instrument, of course – and yet: when Thomas Fiorini gave me the commission in 2019, I did not doubt for a moment about the numerous possibilities offered by this challenge. My inspiration for this concerto came from a very melodic canzone, that would become the second movement. It was self-evident to me that I could not use my normal methods of composition. My usual structure, such as an agitato in the first movement, a cadenza and a poetic intermezzo for the fourth and final movement, demonstrate that the bass guitar can indisputably be a full-fledged classical instrument."

Atmospheric sounds

The 26-year-old composer Natalie Dietterich has already written, in what is still early in her career, a number of impressive compositions for choir and orchestra. Her orchestral work Aeolian Dust of 2015 was selected in 2019 to be performed by the Brussels Philharmonic at the laureates’ concert of the eighth edition of the ['tactus] Young Composers Forum. Dietterich describes the idea behind Aeolian Dust as follows: “The idea of aeolian or atmospheric dust can be seen as an analogy for the passage of time in a world in which unrelated events can exist side by side and bear the possibility to transcend oneself, or perhaps simply to occupy a space together where they have nothing else in common than the moment in which they occur.”

Commentary by Aurélie Walschaert