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7:30 PM
The Bridgewater Hall
Manchester - Britten and Shostakovich
Britten Britten in Wartime 20’
Shostakovich Symphony No.7, ‘Leningrad’ 81'

Sir Mark Elder conductor

Few symphonies became so instantly recognisable, indeed so sensationally popular, as Shostakovich’s ‘Leningrad’ Symphony, a work first performed in 1942. With the world in the grip of an unprecedented total conflict, its message of resistance and ultimate victory was soon to provide audiences in both the Soviet Union and the West with a powerful emblem of hope and defiance. Its remarkable ‘Nazi invasion’ episode is music of near-overwhelming power and intensity.

The concert opens with Britten in Wartime which also journeys back to 1942 when an anxious public in Britain and America tuned in to a special CBS radio broadcast jointly commissioned with the War Office – An American in England. Benjamin Britten had been brought onboard to score the series of drama documentaries. Our premiere this evening explores one of the broadcasts, Women of Britain, which focussed on the role of British women and their part in the war effort. Samuel West will narrate excerpts from the original script, as the Hallé perform Britten’s music.

Pre-concert talk: 6.30pm (free for ticket holders)
Colin Matthews, the Hallé’s Composer Emeritus and trustee of the Britten-Pears Foundation, talks to Geoffrey Owen about bringing together the different elements of this evening’s world premiere, Britten in Wartime. Colin’s remarks will be illustrated with music from performers from Chetham’s School of Music.

£3 student tickets 

Are you 26 or under?
PwC and the Hallé have teamed up to create the PwC Hallé Under 26 ticket. A limited number of stalls seats, usually worth up to £26, are being offered at half price.

Tickets from £11 

Buy online now 

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The Hallé has a number of discs on its own CD label, featuring composers such as Elgar, Wagner, Colin Matthews, Debussy, Richard Strauss and other English composers. The label includes award-winning discs such as Wagner's Götterdämmerung and Elgar's Violin Concerto with Thomas Zehetmair as soloist.

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The Hallé offers a range of regular, local and free ensemble experiences for young people aged 8 –19 years. It also offers adults (aged 18+) the chance to sing in one of the best symphony choruses in the UK.

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The Hallé's award-winning Education Programme reaches over 55,000 participants a year principally by placing Hallé musicians in the community, in schools, youth clubs, community centres and young offenders organisations.

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Now in its 158th season, the Hallé ranks among the UK's top symphonic ensembles, with a distinguished history of acclaimed performances in this country and around the world; award-winning recordings, radio broadcasts and educational outreach programmes; and a visionary commitment to building audiences and developing orchestral repertoire.

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Find out more about what to expect from a Hallé concert as well as information about the Hallé's Manchester home - The Bridgewater Hall.