2020 Autumn Concerts

Autumn 2020 Royal Festival Hall Season - In the Stream of Life

 We are delighted to return to our Resident home, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, to perform a full autumn season of 13 full-length concerts which will be filmed live and be available for you to enjoy at home for free from 30 September.

Edward Gardner, Principal Conductor Designate, opens the season with a programme of Widmann, Sibelius and Beethoven. Over the next three months we are also joined by Principal Conductor Vladimir Jurowski, Principal Guest Conductor Karina Canellakis, and other guests conductors including John Storgårds, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Thierry Fischer. For each concert, the Orchestra will comprise approximately 60 players, and will be joined by soloists including Gerald Finley, Simone Lamsma and Alexander Gavrylyuk.

Repertoire and soloists reflect the original plans for the 2020/21 season. Ten of the programmes continue the 2020 Vision series which juxtaposes pivotal works from the 21st century with those composed a century and two centuries earlier. In addition to Jörg Widmann’s Con brio in the opening concert, the season features contemporary works by Julian Anderson, Jonathan Dove, Elena Kats-Chernin, Thomas Larcher, Magnus Lindberg, James MacMillan, Lotta Wennäkoski, and Brett Dean, who will be Composer-in-Residence through to 2023. The concerts streamed on 4 and 11 November will be part of Southbank Centre’s Inside Out festival, and will be broadcast live from the Royal Festival Hall at 7.30pm on BBC Radio 3 on 21 and 23 October.

All concerts will be available to watch on Marquee TV, premiering on the dates shown below, and will be free to access for 7 days, after which they will be added to the LPO collection of concerts, and accessible to Marquee subscribers.

Click here to download the season brochure.

The London Philharmonic Orchestra is grateful to Dunard Fund and all those whose generous support has made this autumn season possible

Tragedy and Triumph | 30 September 2020

A fitting opening to the season, Principal Conductor Designate Edward Gardner conducts Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony: a musical drama of Fate versus genius and triumph out of tragedy. To set the scene, Gerald Finley sings a windswept song-cycle by Sibelius.

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Visions of Ecstasy | 7 October 2020

Edward Gardner conducts two emotionally intense masterpieces. Messiaen’s Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum, a vision of the stars themselves filling the universe with songs of joy, and Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht – a dream of two lovers walking through a moonlit forest consumed with tragedy, and then breathless with wonder.

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2011: Storming the heavens | 14 October 2020

John Storgårds conducts Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, Simone Lamsma plays Nielsen’s Violin Concerto, and Julian Anderson plunges into the luminous, swirling imagination of Vincent van Gogh in his extraordinary Van Gogh Blue.

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2012: Rapture and Revelry | 21 October 2020

Sir Mark Elder conducts Beethoven’s firecracker of an Eighth Symphony – a work that cheerfully booted the Classical rule-book out of the window. Plus Richard Strauss's outrageous orchestral makeover of Le bourgeois gentilhomme.

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2013: Poems old and new | 28 October 2020

In 1913, Sibelius and Ravel conjured rare and ravishing visions for a troubled age: a trio of delicate songs, and a timeless prophecy from Finnish myth. Hear these alongside the UK premiere of Magnus Lindberg’s Cello Concerto No 2 and Franz Schubert’s irrepressible First Symphony.

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2014: Memory and renewal | 4 November 2020

Thierry Fischer conducts the teenage Schubert’s delightful Second Symphony from 1814. Jump to 1914 and Max Reger is inspired by Mozart and in 2014 Thomas Larcher finds a myth of renewal in the Alpine forests.

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Celebrations and revolutions | 11 November 2020

Daniele Rustioni conducts Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4, Ah! Perfido and a sparkling overture by Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Plus Nicolas Namoradze brings his creative flair to Beethoven’s Fourth Piano concerto.

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2015: The midnight sun | 25 November 2020

Hannu Lintu conducts Penderecki's Sinfonietta for Strings, the London premiere of Lotta Wennäkoski’s Verdigris, Schubert’s playful Third Symphony of 1815, and Sibelius’s beautiful, evocative Symphony No. 5.

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2016: Bach to the future | 2 December 2020

Thomas Søndergård conducts Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1, and Schubert’s irresistibly witty Symphony No. 5 before violinist Pekka Kuusisto astounds with the extraordinary Bach Materia, written specially for him by Anders Hillborg.

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2017: Gavrylyuk plays Prokofiev | 5 December 2020

Thomas Søndergård conducts pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk in Prokofiev’s ferocious Third Piano Concerto, paired with Schubert’s ebullient Sixth Symphony and Ravel’s poignant homage to fallen friends: Le tombeau de Couperin.

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2018: Jurowski conducts Enescu | 9 December 2020

George Enescu was the kind of artist who made the whole world seem to burn brighter. Jurowski inspiringly pairs two extraordinary miniature Enescu masterpieces with Elena-Kats-Chernin’s Bach-inspired Third Piano Concerto, performed by Alexandra Silocea.

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2019: All the world’s a stage | 16 December 2020

Phenomenal accordionist Bartosz Glowacki performs in the world premiere of Brett Dean’s The Players, in a concert opening with Bach’s ‘Brandenburg’ Concerto No. 5, and ending with Stravinsky’s irreverent mock-Baroque extravaganza, Pulcinella.

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2020: Interrupted stories | 30 December 2020

In 1720, Vivaldi composes a dazzling overture for a carnival. In 1820, Louis Spohr salutes his hero Beethoven in a symphony that pulses with drama. In 1920, Arthur Honegger watches sunrise over the Swiss Alps, and Arthur Bliss throws a riotous cocktail party. We end 2020 with James MacMillan's musical tale of hope shattered and restored.

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