Jeneba Kanneh-Mason stars in Bardi season finale

20th May 2024

A large and appreciative audience was at De Montfort Hall on Sunday for the last concert in Bardi’s 2023-24 season.  

Jeneba Kanneh-Mason’s outstanding performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 set the bar high in the first half, and to the obvious delight of the audience she played a contrasting and unusual encore in the form of little-known Spanish composer Federico Mompou’s Jeunes filles au jardin from his piano suite Scènes d’enfants.

An enlarged Bardi Orchestra filled the stage for the second half of the concert for Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 appropriately subtitled ‘Titan’. Fine playing on the part of the orchestra was overlaid with visual excitement in the form of various special effects from the large brass and woodwind sections demanded by the score including wind players raising their instruments above their stands and the large horn section raising the bells of their instruments whilst standing as the piece reached its spectacularly triumphant conclusion.

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As well as the season finale, this concert marked the final appearance of Claus Efland as the Orchestra’s Music Director.  Associated with the Orchestra since 2005 and Music Director since 2008, Claus gave a short speech to the audience thanking them for their support over 19 years and urging them to continue to support classical music in Leicester.  

He then went on to introduce a special encore the Oriental Festival March from the Aladdin Suite by his fellow countryman Carl Nielsen.  He went on to explain that his first ever concert with the Orchestra had included an encore by Nielsen, so this was a fitting end to his final concert. The orchestra is grateful to Claus Efland for his immense contribution to the development of the Orchestra over the years.