On the occasion of the biggest Christian holiday, Easter, the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra announces the “Divine” concert, which will be held on Thursday, April 25, starting at 8 p.m.

For the first time in Macedonia, one of the most magnificent works of the Scottish composer James MacMillan will be performed – “The Seven Last Words from the Cross”. In the second part of the program, Symphony no. 4 titled “Tragic” by the Austrian composer Franz Schubert will be presented.

The conductor of the “Divine” concert is Maestro Konrad van Alphen from the Netherlands, a frequent guest conductor with the Macedonian Philharmonic. The “ProArs” choir, prepared by Maestro Sasho Tatarchevski, will perform together with the orchestra.

“The Seven Last Words from the Cross” is also one of the most striking vocal-instrumental works of recent times. It was commissioned by BBC TV and premiered in seven nightly episodes during Holy Week in 1994 by the Capella Nova Choir and the Scottish Ensemble, conducted by Maestro Alan Tavener. The text is traditional and draws on all four gospels to form a sequential presentation of the seven last sentences spoken by Jesus. “The Seven Last Words from the Cross” is rightly considered MacMillan’s masterpiece because it is so complex and cathartic.

Austrian composer Franz Schubert, who belongs to late classicism and early romanticism, has a truly impressive oeuvre behind him. Unlike his first three symphonies, which are more classical and leisurely, his Fourth Tragic, written before he was 20, is influenced by Beethoven’s oeuvre. According to some biographers, it is an attempt at a second version of the Eroica. Completed in 1816, it premiered on November 19, 1849, in Leipzig, two decades after the author’s death.

Maestro Konrad van Alphen, “an inspirational conductor who makes things happen,” as described by the established Dutch/South African conductor, has gained popularity with both orchestras and audiences thanks to his distinctive way of conducting rehearsals and performances. Maestro Van Alphen is the artistic director and chief conductor of the Rotterdam Symphony Orchestra. Over the past 16 years, he has elevated his orchestra to the level of being an internationally recognized orchestra, hosting concert series in Rotterdam, The Hague, and Amsterdam.