World premiere "Antarctique"
by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Durham - 12 June 2012

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, conducted by Susanna Mälkki, will première Richard Rijnvos's newly commissioned work Antarctique as part of a Holland Festival production on 22 and 23 June in the Gasholder of the Amsterdam Westergasfabriek.

The work forms the seventh and final part of Grand Atlas, subtitled "représentation du monde universel en sept tableaux musicaux".

Perhaps contrary to expectations, it is not the opening movement, but the monolithic finale that is the first part of this new cycle to be completed – a cycle in which each of the seven world continents is depicted in an orchestral composition.

Antarctique is scored for a vast symphony orchestra of 103 musicians. Inspired by the circular shape of the concert venue, it features a percussion section of no less than twelve individual performers, who form a live clock in 'surround-sound'. We hear time passing along the pitches of a chromatic scale: every five seconds is marked by the next semitone, from the next position, on the next tubular bell.

Antarctique is the first completed work during Richard Rijnvos's long-term residency with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam.