Written in 2004 with an inner eye on the percussion soloist and Swedish Soloist Prize winner Johan Bridger, to whom the piece was dedicated and who eventually gave its original première during a concert with Malmö Symphony Orchestra and conductor Christoph König on 6 May 2004.
The concerto comprises two movements, each of which is divided up into clerarly distinct sections. Broström uses a large array of percussion instruments placed in three separate stations, and it is when the soloist moves from one station to the other that the image is evoked of the arena that has lent the work its name. In that each station possesses its own arrangement of instruments, the different sections of the concerto have their own unique sound.
The first movement opens as a burst of extreme violence, with the soloist`s percussion rig placed at the back, raised between the orchestral percussion section and the timpani. The thematic material is thus presented and the movement gradually comes to an end stage-front in the second station, which includes a waterphone, a brass instrument comprising rods of different lengths that are played with a bow.
A lengthy section of the second movement`s opening is dominated by the third station`s marimba (which is placed on the other side of the podium`s front), played with great virtuosity before the soloist returns to the percussion combo of the first station, ushered there by additional percussionists in an explosion of pyrotechnics. The solo percussionist emerges from the orchestra`s percussion section to eventually take over and launch into the solo cadence.