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Sunlight on water: Sibelius and Beethoven
Royal Festival Hall

Sunlight on water: Sibelius and Beethoven

Date: 2 Dec
Time: 19:30
Santtu-Matias Rouvali - conductor

Santtu-Matias Rouvali - conductor
Pekka Kuusisto - violin

Sibelius's moody, intense musical landscapes contrast with Beethoven's countryside idyll, a place where bubbling streams and birdsong give us rest and solace.

SIBELIUS Violin Concerto
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 6, Pastoral

A conductor who feels most at home in the Finnish forest, and a violinist who is a vocal supporter of environmental campaigns, join forces for the final concert in the Philharmonia's Human / Nature series.

Pekka Kuusisto is the Philharmonia's Featured Artist for the 2021/22 season. He joins his compatriot, Principal Conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali, in a piece that flows through the veins of every Finnish musician: Sibelius's powerful and profound Violin Concerto. It's hard to resist reaching for similes from the natural world to describe Sibelius's music, and The Times called a recent performance of this masterpiece by Kuusisto 'as silvery and fleeting as winter sunlight on water.'

Sibelius's moody, intense musical landscapes are a far cry from the world of Beethoven's 'Pastoral' Symphony. Beethoven conjures up a countryside idyll as perhaps only a city-dwelling Romantic can - a place of gently bubbling streams, birdsong, and, in the third movement, 'a merry gathering of country folk'. Even the dramatic fourth movement, full of timpani thunder, brings us safely to the finale, 'Cheerful and thankful feelings after the storm.' Beethoven knew first hand the power of spending time in nature to bring solace from the storms and stresses of work and ill-health. He gave that solace to his city listeners in music that still brings us joy today.

This concert is also available to watch on demand online from 7.30pm on Thursday 16 December.

This concert is supported by the Laurence Modiano Charitable Trust.

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Royal Festival Hall

The Philharmonia is a world-class symphony orchestra for the 21st century, led by Principal Conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali.

Founded in 1945, in part as a recording orchestra for the growing home audio market, the Philharmonia has always pioneered the use of technology to reach broader audiences for orchestral music. During the Coronavirus pandemic, it has continued to create outstanding performances, experienced online by listeners on five continents.


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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