The Era of the Crystal Palace

The Era of the Crystal Palace

Ciconia Consort – The Hague String Orchestra
Dick van Gasteren, conductor
Alexandra Bidi, harp


Wednesday 2 October 2024 – 8:15 PM
Het Concertgebouw, Amsterdam

Saturday 5 October 2024 – 8:00 PM
Theater Hanzehof, Zutphen

Thursday 24 October 2024 – 8:15 PM
Oudshoornse Kerk, Alphen aan den Rijn

Saturday 26 October 2024 – 8:15 PM
Nieuwe Kerk, The Hague


FREDERICK DELIUS (1862-1934) – Aquarelles for string orchestra (1917), arr. Eric Fenby
GEORGE ANTHEIL (1900-1959) – Serenade for string orchestra (1948)
CONSTANT VAN DE WALL (1871-1945) – Wajang legend (1925)
ANDRÉ CAPLET (1878-1925) – Conte Fantastique après ‘Le Masque de la Mort rouge’ for harp & string orchestra (1919)
GUILLAUME LEKEU (1870-1894) – Adagio (1891)
MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937) – Petite Symphonie à cordes (1903), arr. Rudolf Barshai

‘The Era of the Crystal Palace’ expresses the Belle Époque, the intriguing time of the major World
Expo’s, with the rising of the Paris Tour Eifel, London’s Crystal Palace and the unbridled belief in
progress. The 1989 Paris Exhibition in particular had a major influence on Western music, where
Debussy, among others, was inspired by Javanese dance and gamelan music. The Dutch-Indies
Constant van de Wall composed this Eastern gamelan music in a wonderful way for string instruments. George Antheil, the composer of new techniques, who shocked with the use of sirens and airplane propellers, wrote his swinging Serenade for String Orchestra in a romantic modern style with influences from Prokofiev and jazz.
The beautiful harpsolo in Conte fantastique by André Caplet, a student of Claude Debussy, will be performed by Alexandra Bidi, a prize winner of the International ARD Musikwettbewerb 2023. And the concert concludes with the amazing orchestration of Ravel’s string quartet by Rudolph Barshai.

Alexandra Bidi, harp

The young talented Alexandra Bidi is praised for her “temperament, depth, soulful singing and great dynamic range” (Klassik Heute), as well as her “enormous joy of playing and technical mastery” (Stuttgarter Zeitung). Bidi “enchants the audience with her powerful musical energy and her many tonal possibilities” (SWR2). Alexandra Bidi was born in New York and began her musical education at the age of six in Milan with harp lessons from Elena Gorna, followed by training in Madrid at the Conservatorio Arturo Soria. In 2020, she joined the class of Isabelle Moretti and Geneviève Létang at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, where she received her bachelor’s degree with highest distinction in 2023. In addition to her master’s studies, she is currently pursuing a degree in applied mathematics at Paris-Dauphine University.