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Alsop conducts Britten and Shostakovich
Royal Festival Hall

Alsop conducts Britten and Shostakovich

Date: Thu 19 May
Time: 19:30
Marin Alsop - conductor

Arabella Steinbacher - violin

American conductor Marin Alsop conducts an expressive and dramatic programme: Strum by young American composer Jessie Montgomery paves the way for music by Britten and Shostakovich.

BRITTEN Violin Concerto

Marin Alsop's programme showcases the versatility of the Philharmonia's musicians.

The swirling, folk-inflected melodies of Jessie Montgomery's Strum contrast with two pieces composed under the shadow of war and oppression.

A committed pacifist, Benjamin Britten moved to the United States in 1939 to escape the conflict in Europe and the ordeal of keeping his sexuality hidden. It was there, in a new environment of creativity, friendship and acceptance, that he composed his Violin Concerto. Arabella Steinbacher brings her expertise in 20th-century repertoire, and her "finely polished technique and... beautifully varied palette of timbres" (The New York Times) to this expressive and emotionally complex work.

The possible hidden meanings within Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony, composed under political pressure from Stalin's regime, have long fascinated listeners. There are generous helpings of spectacle along the road to the symphony's triumphant ending - but is the triumph genuine or ironic? In the midst of the heroism and drama lies the hushed, almost religious contemplation of the third movement, the tender heart of the symphony that moved the audience to tears at its 1937 premiere.

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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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