What's On

Your essential guide to all the best concerts taking place in the UK and Ireland. Click here to find out how to submit an event.
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Format: 2020-02-17
Format: 2020-02-17
  • 19 February 2020 - 7:30pm
    London Philharmonic Orchestra: 2002 - Three adventures
    Leila Josefowicz, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko
    Royal Festival Hall London SE1 8XX
    United Kingdom

    Every Beethoven symphony is a journey, and in 1802 the energy and daring of his Second Symphony strained at the outer boundaries of musical possibility. A hundred years later, Jean Sibelius followed Beethoven’s example and created one of the 20th century’s true symphonic epics: a struggle from tranquillity to triumph, rooted in nature and crowned with a melody you’ll never forget. Guest conductor Vasily Petrenko will also bring his unrivalled sense of colour and momentum to Leila Josefowicz’s performance of Oliver Knussen’s 2002 Violin Concerto, described by its (much-missed) composer as ‘a tightrope walker progressing along a (decidedly unstable) high wire’.

    Symphony No 2 in D
    Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
    Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
    Oliver Knussen (1952-)
    Symphony No 2 in D
    Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)
  • 23 February 2020 - 11:30pm
    Michael Sanderling conducts Sibelius and Brahms | Philharmonia Orchestra
    Emmanuel Tjeknavorian, Michael Sanderling, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Royal Festival Hall London SE1 8XX
    United Kingdom

    Michael Sanderling conducts two key late romantic works: Sibelius’s darkly beautiful Violin Concerto and Brahms’s masterful Fourth Symphony.

    Brahms called his Fourth “my sad symphony,” but this modest adjective belies the composer’s emotional range and consummate structural skill. His friend, the critic Eduard Hanslick, put it better: “It is like a dark well; the longer we look into it, the more brightly the stars shine back.” Michael Sanderling is an insightful guide to the subtle joys and rewarding depths of this cornerstone of the symphonic repertoire.

    Sibelius began his musical life as a violinist, and brought his first-hand knowledge of the instrument’s capabilities and huge expressive potential to his only concerto. By turns hauntingly beautiful and devilishly virtuosic, the piece makes huge demands on the soloist. Austrian violinist Emanuel Tjeknavorian is more than equal to its challenges - in 2015, aged just 20, he won the prize for best interpretation of this concerto at the International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition.

    Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D minor
    Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)
    Symphony No 4 in E minor
    Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
  • 27 February 2020 - 7:30pm
    John Wilson conducts Elgar and Korngold | Philharmonia Orchestra
    John Wilson, Leonidas Kavakos, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Royal Festival Hall London SE1 8XX
    United Kingdom

    Hear John Wilson conduct Elgar’s visionary final symphony, alongside Korngold’s Violin Concerto with Leonidas Kavakos.

    Left unfinished at the time of his death, Elgar’s Third Symphony ranks among the greatest pieces of British music ever written. The sweeping music traces a journey from an opening march through to a wistful dance in its second movement, on to an evocative adagio of searing intensity. Elgar’s masterful writing speaks directly to the listener: his symphony builds to an emotional climax in the final movement, before fading away to nothing. The symphony was completed by Anthony Payne, and first performed in 1998.

    Where Elgar’s music formed Britain’s musical heart, Korngold’s bridges two worlds: trained in the European tradition, he found his home in Hollywood. Virtuosic and playful, but sincere and heartfelt, his Violin Concerto is magic made into music. Performed tonight by Leonidas Kavakos – “superbly articulate and incisive, yet rapturously lyrical” (The Guardian) – the piece moves through jigs, romances and adventure, all with ravishing melodies taken from Korngold’s own film scores.

    First Essay, for orchestra
    Charlie Barber (1949-)
    Concerto for violin and orchestra
    Erich Korngold (1897-1957)
    Symphony No 3 in C minor
    Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
  • 20 February 2020 - 7:30pm
    Mahler's Resurrection Symphony | Philharmonia Orchestra
    Camilla Tilling, Jakub Hrusa, Jennifer Johnston, Philharmonia Chorus, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Royal Festival Hall London SE1 8XX
    United Kingdom

    Never one to shy away from a big idea, in his Resurrection Symphony Mahler examines the meaning of life itself.

    Throughout its 75 years the Philharmonia has given many outstanding performances of Mahler’s epic, all-embracing symphonies, led by some of the top conductors of the 20th and 21st centuries, from Karajan and Klemperer to Esa-Pekka Salonen. Now our Principal Guest Conductor Jakub Hrusa brings us his take on the great Symphony No 2 'Resurrection', scored for a large orchestra, two solo singers and chorus.

    In his own programme notes for the premiere Mahler said that the first movement represents a funeral, with subsequent movements depicting happy memories, followed by the fear that life may have no meaning at all. But reassurance comes from the soprano who sings “I come from God, and to God I shall return”, and in the monumental finale soloists and chorus affirm “O believe, you were not born for nothing!... With wings which I have won for myself, I shall soar upwards, I shall die in order to live.”

    Symphony No 2 in C minor, 'Resurrection'
    Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)
  • 19 February 2020 - 7:30pm
    Solem Quartet
    Alistair Vennart, Amy Tress, Solem Quartet, Stephanie Tress, William Newell
    Influence Church Richmond DL10 4AS
    United Kingdom

    Founded in 2011 at the University of Manchester, the Solem Quartet has accumulated more prizes and distinguished mentors than would seem possible, and is currently Quartet in Residence at the University of Liverpool.

    The quartet is particularly excited to have been privately commissioned to undertake a complete Beethoven and Bartók cycle, which starts in 2020 and will take place in London and Aberystwyth over a three year period.

    String Quartet No 53 in D major, 'The Lark'
    (Franz) Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
    String Quartet No 5
    Bela Bartók (1881-1945)
    String Quartet No 2 in A minor
    Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
  • 22 February 2020 - 7:30pm
    London Philharmonic Orchestra: 2003 - Fantasy and revolution
    Christine Rice, Dima Slobodeniouk, London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Royal Festival Hall London SE1 8XX
    United Kingdom

    Two explosive chords open the ‘Eroica’ Symphony: and just like that, Ludwig van Beethoven unleashed two turbulent centuries of musical innovation, exploration and revolution. The ‘Eroica’ still delivers a formidable shock today, and Jörg Widmann’s huge, haunting and startlingly emotional Lied for Orchestra, written exactly 200 years later, is just one way of dealing with the aftermath. And for another, join conductor Dima Slobodeniouk and mezzo-soprano Christine Rice in the year 1903, as they board Maurice Ravel’s ship of dreams, Shéhérazade, and drift away to a place ‘where fantasy sleeps like an empress’. Escapism has never sounded more seductive.

    Lied für Orchester
    Jörg Widmann (1973-)
    Shéhérazade, for mezzo-soprano and orchestra
    Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
    Symphony No 3 in E flat, 'Eroica'
    Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
  • 26 February 2020 - 7:30pm
    London Philharmonic Orchestra: 2004 - New visions
    London Philharmonic Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä, Sergej Krylov
    Royal Festival Hall London SE1 8XX
    United Kingdom

    A tale of night, a tale of fire, a tale of love, and a tale of Fate. ‘A work of art is unpredictable. It makes its own rules’, said the late Einojuhani Rautavaara, but the warmth, poetry and deep, dark beauty of his Book of Visions (2004) casts its spell over this whole concert – whether music from 1904, when Elgar and Webern each chose to throw their music open to sunlight and warmth, or from 1804, when virtuoso violinist Louis Spohr revelled in a new world of musical possibilities. With the mesmerising Sergej Krylov as Spohr’s champion tonight, you’ll hear why Beethoven was a fan.

    In the South, 'Alassio'
    Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
    Concerto for violin and orchestra No 2
    Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
    Im Sommerwind
    Anton von Webern (1883-1945)
    Book of Visions
    Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928- )
  • 20 February 2020 - 7:30pm
    Symphonic Colours | Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Domingo Hindoyan, Duncan Riddell, Richard Harwood, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Cadogan Hall London SW1X 9DQ
    United Kingdom

    Few works could be described as a cornerstone of Russian music other than Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 5. The use of the recurring Fate theme as an emotional core, though common for the composer, paints new orchestral colours in each movement with intensity and purpose. Its frequent use hints also at deep anxiety that plagued the composer, underlying even when the sullen final movement is broken by a triumphant conclusion in E major. Despite the composer’s doubts, it is rightfully celebrated as one of the great Romantic symphonies.

    Brahms’s Double Concerto written for violin, cello and orchestra makes for an exquisite first half with RPO Leader Duncan Riddell and Principal Cello Richard Harwood. A masterpiece of virtuosic writing and instrumentation, Brahms’s last orchestral work set new boundaries for the possibilities of the concerto form.

    Overture from A Life for the Tsar
    Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857)
    Concerto for violin, cello and orchestra in A minor
    Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
    Symphony No 5 in E minor
    Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
  • 27 February 2020 - 7:30pm
    Wagner 360° | Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Alexander Shelley, Mariam Batsashvili, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Cadogan Hall London SW1X 9DQ
    United Kingdom

    Wagner’s incomparable opera Tristan und Isolde features in the second concert of Alexander Shelley’s 360° series, exploring musical influences and relationships that inspired great composers. The profoundly meditative Prelude and Liebestod opens the opera with lush orchestration, expressive harmonies and chromaticism that divided those who heard it in its day, irrevocably influencing the course of Western music in the nineteenth century.

    Bülow and Liszt were both contemporaries and supporters of Wagner, whose personal relationships are well documented through Wagner’s scandalous affair with Liszt’s daughter – Bülow’s wife. Liszt’s Piano Concerto No 2 and Bülow’s Nirwana exhibit a Wagnerian fanaticism, but countering this is Brahms, whose stalwart conservative voice of the era is heard in the classically influenced Variations on a theme by Haydn.

    Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde
    Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
    Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No 2 in A major
    Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
    Nirwana
    Hans von Bülow (1830-1894)
    Variations on a theme by Haydn, 'St Anthony Chorale'
    Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
  • 23 February 2020 - 11:30am
    Noisy Kids: Circus Circus | Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Benjamin Pope, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Tim Steiner
    The Hexagon Reading RG1 7UA
    United Kingdom

    Roll up, roll up and see the amazing Royal Philharmonic Orchestra perform the greatest show in Reading.

    Back by popular demand, the Orchestra invites you to come and experience all the magic of the circus in this fun-filled family concert. Bite-sized pieces of well-known music introduce you to the orchestra, mixed with fun and games from your ringside seat!

    Featuring music from The Greatest Showman, Carmen, Monty Python, Entry of the Gladiators and much more!

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