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Shani conducts Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet
Royal Festival Hall

Shani conducts Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet

Date: 13 Feb
Time: 19:30
Lahav Shani, conductor

Kirill Gerstein, piano

RACHMANINOV Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
PROKOFIEV Romeo and Juliet (excerpts)

"Talent borrows, genius steals", as the saying goes - in this concert Prokofiev and Rachmaninov steal from Shakespeare and Paganini to create enduring classics of their own.

Kirill Gerstein, hailed for his "expressive brilliance" (The Guardian), is the soloist in Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, premiered by Rachmaninov himself in 1934. Paganini's Caprices, written over a century earlier, were dedicated "to all artists" - aptly so, as they inspired arrangements by composers from Schumann and Liszt to Benny Goodman. Rachmaninov's Variations, alternately sparkling and thoughtful, moody and full of fun, are now better-known than Paganini's original. The romantic 18th variation is particularly popular - Rachmaninov knowingly declared "this one is for my agent".

Prokofiev's ballet music for Romeo and Juliet, composed in 1935, contains so much great music that he created not one but three orchestral suites from it. Here Lahav Shani chooses his favourite moments, from the threatening tread of 'The Montagues and the Capulets' to the heart-wrenching scene of Romeo at the Tomb of Juliet.

The overture to Prokofiev's opera War and Peace, composed in 1942 following the German invasion of Russia, opens as you might expect with military brass and snare drum. But gentler woodwind melodies allude to the love stories in Tolstoy's great novel.

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Royal Festival Hall

The Philharmonia Orchestra is a world-class symphony orchestra for the 21st century, led by Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor Esa-Pekka Salonen.

The Orchestra's home is Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall, London, where it presents over 50 performances each year. Six other residencies across the UK bring the Philharmonia to a wide national audience. Internationally, the Philharmonia is active across Europe, Asia and the USA.

The Philharmonia was founded in 1945. It has been self-governing since 1964 and is owned by its 80 members. Salonen has been Principal Conductor since 2008, with Santtu-Matias Rouvali being appointed Principal Conductor Designate. Jakub Hrusa is their Principal Guest Conductor, and honorary conductor positions are held by Christoph von Dohnányi and Vladimir Ashkenazy.


This Event is at Royal Festival Hall

 Southbank Centre SE1 8XX Belvedere Road, London

Royal Festival Hall stands at the heart of Southbank Centre complex. Opened in 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain, the Hall is one of the world's leading performance venues. As well as the auditorium, the building consists of The Clore Ballroom, Southbank Centre Shop, several places to eat and drink, and the Saison Poetry Library.


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