Collegium Helveticum
Orchestra of the Dnipro Opera and Ballet Theater, 2018. © Igor Bulgarin
Fellow Project 2023–2024

The Evolution of the Concerto Through the Lens of the Development of the Orchestra in the First Decade of the 19th Century

The work proceeds from the basic assumption that, compared with certain instrumental genres such as symphony, tone-poem, suite, overture, etc., the “concerto orchestra” (the orchestra in the instrumental concerto genre) has special features due to the presence of the soloist.

The research is contends with four main problems. First, the changes in the soloist–orchestra relationship and thus the evolving role of the concerto orchestra at the beginning of the 19th century. Second, the distinctive features of the concerto orchestra that differentiate it from a “symphony” orchestra. Third, the impact of changing approaches to timbre on the concerto’s orchestration. And fourth, the influence of the popularity of public concerts on the status of the orchestra as a socio-cultural institution.

By placing the concerto orchestra at the center of this study and using a cross-cultural perspective on the concerto’s analysis, this project fills a major gap in the analysis of the orchestra and contributes new analytical and cultural-historical perspectives to our understanding of the concerto genre.