Sawing melodies: an unusual debut

This coming week sees a first for the London Philharmonic Orchestra. On Wednesday 19 February we will be joined by a very special guest artist, Katharina Micada, who will make her Royal Festival Hall debut playing musical saw alongside the Orchestra and Marc-André Hamelin in Khachaturian’s Piano Concerto.

Katharina will also be making an appearance on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch this weekend, opening the show with a performance on her remarkable instrument before being an interview with hosts Simon Rimmer and Tim Lovejoy at 10.00am.

The musical saw came into vogue in Europe during 1920s, with cabaret star Marlene Dietrich establishing her role as the ‘First Lady of the musical saw’ after taking up the instrument in 1927. Several classical composers of the 20th century also wrote parts for musical saw or flexaton into their works. In Aram Khachaturian’s 1936 Piano Concerto a musical saw doubles the violin line in the beginning of the second movement.

Listen to excerpts of Khachaturian’s Piano Concerto (scroll down to the ‘Listen First’ tab)

Book tickets for the concert on Wednesday 19 February

Visit Katharina’s website to watch some videos of her performing 

A recording of Khachaturian's Piano Concerto, Second Movement, conducted by Khachaturian:

Photo: Gisela Albrecht