Orchestral music offers something for everyone, but it can be difficult to know where to begin
If you fancy giving classical music a go, our selection of firm favourites offers the perfect introduction to the thrill of live orchestral music. With timeless classics such as Elgar's outstanding Enigma Variations, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, undoubtedly his best known work, and Swan Lake, Tchaikovsky's most iconic ballet score, do come along and share the wonder of live music with us.
Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique | 23 September 2020
The season opens with Tchaikovsky’s hugely popular overture from Romeo Juliet before a roof-raising musical phantasmagoria – Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique conducted by Edward Gardner. Also hear legendary baritone Gerald Finley singing Lutosławski’s Les Espaces du sommeil.
Grieg Piano Concerto | 9 October 2020
Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson, Gramophone 2019 Artist of the Year, performs Grieg’s glorious Piano Concerto – the perfect curtain-raiser for Tchaikovsky’s ever-popular Fifth Symphony.
Ode to Joy | 24 October 2020
Opening with Handel’s glorious coronation anthem Zadok the Priest, we reach the natural climax of our celebrations for Beethoven 250th anniversary with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony – his magnificent choral symphony.
Emotion and tranquility | 6 November 2020
Internationally renowned Ray Chen plays Brahms’s sunlit Violin Concerto, the perfect foil for Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony - an emotional biography of uncompromising melody and drama.
New World Symphony | 14 February 2021
On Valentine’s Day, classical guitarist Miloš Karadaglić teams up with Italian maestro Enrique Mazzola in a concert that sets Rodrigo’s ever-popular evocation of Spain alongside the deep, nostalgic passion of Dvořák’s ‘New World’ Symphony.
Enigma Variations | 24 February 2021
Edward Gardner conducts Elgar’s Enigma Variations, which burn with poetry and imagination, and Tippett’s lush Ritual Dances from his opera The Midsummer Marriage. Dazzling pianist Seong-Jin Cho joins for the fantasy and fireworks of Liszt’s outrageous Second Piano Concerto.
Emperor Concerto | 24 March 2021
The overture to Mozart’s darkest opera, Don Giovanni sets the stage for an evening of high drama and raw passion where Maxim Emelyanychev and pianist Denis Kozhukhin will make Beethoven’s majestic ‘Emperor’ Concerto the perfect counterpart for Brahms’s Symphony No. 1.
West Side Story | 26 March 2021
Hear the electrifying rhythmic workouts from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story and Ravel’s Boléro as they set the mood for a thrilling evening. Colin Currie gives the world premiere of the legendary contemporary film composer Danny Elfman’s Percussion Concerto.
Eroica Symphony | 16 April 2021
Hear Beethoven’s revolutionary ‘Eroica’ Symphony alongside Brahms’s First Piano Concerto. For Stephen Hough, this concerto is ‘a burst of pure, utter, natural genius’ and he plays it like no-one on earth.
Jurowski conducts Swan Lake | 28 April 2021
Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake is a profoundly human drama of love, struggle, destiny and redemption. There could be no more fitting last word from our Principal Conductor than this full-length concert performance.