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<October 2014>
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Thursday
23
October
7:30 PM
The Bridgewater Hall
Manchester
Hallé: Thursday Series - Strauss, Chopin, Brett Dean and Beethoven

Hallé: Thursday Series - Strauss, Chopin, Brett Dean and Beethoven

R. Strauss Intermezzo: Waltz Scene 9'
Chopin Piano Concerto No.2 30'
Brett Dean ‘Testament’ – music for orchestra (2008) 14'
Beethoven Symphony No.1 25' 

Olari Elts conductor | Sunwook Kim piano*



The Hallé’s Bridgewater Hall concert on Thursday 23 October promises to be one of the most enthralling of the season. The concert features the Hallé debut of one of Europe’s most sought-after musicians, the Estonian conductor Olari Elts. He will lead us through a typically eclectic tour through some apparently different musical eras. He begins with the witty orchestral interlude from Richard Strauss’s last great opera Intermezzo. It was intended as a glimpse into the composer’s own life at home, and was inspired by the light comedies of the 18th century.

We then have the contemplative Second Piano Concerto by Chopin. Its grace and astonishing beauty are intertwined with passages of near alarming difficulty, indeed after giving its premiere the composer was hailed as the ‘Paganini of the Piano’. It is an entirely appropriate piece for Hallé favourite Sunwook Kim's famous virtuosity.

Beethoven’s revolutionary First Symphony is prefaced by Brett Dean’s atmospheric tribute; it was inspired by the Heiligenstadt Testament, the famous document in which Beethoven confronted his deafness and resolved to fulfil his artistic destiny. 

Pre-concert event at 6.30pm - free to concert ticket holders
Olari Elts and Geoffrey Owen
Olari Elts, a welcome guest on the podium of many European and British orchestras, makes his Hallé debut.  The Estonian conductor’s eclectic tastes are reflected in the works he has chosen to perform tonight. He talks to Geoffrey Owen about his approach to music-making, with musical illustrations by students from the Royal Northern College of Music.

*The Hallé Concerts Society is very grateful to Sunwook Kim for replacing Dejan Lazic who has had to withdraw.

Ticket prices and booking fees
Full price tickets from £11 + booking fee
£3 student tickets are available for many Hallé concerts. See here for more information.

If you are 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.

A booking fee of £2 per ticket applies to telephone and online transactions. For more details about booking fees see The Bridgewater Hall website.

Thursday
06
November
7:30 PM
The Bridgewater Hall
Manchester
Hallé: Thursday Series - Butterworth, Elgar, Bax and Sibelius

Hallé: Thursday Series - Butterworth, Elgar, Bax and Sibelius

Butterworth A Shropshire Lad 11'
Elgar The Spirit of England 27'
Bax In Memoriam 15'
Sibelius Symphony No.5 30'

Sir Mark Elder conductor | Rachel Nicholls soprano | Hallé Choir

Tonight’s concert, featuring four very different works from the years of the First World War, opens with George Butterworth’s evocative orchestral rhapsody A Shropshire Lad, an extended meditation on the poetry of A.E. Housman. 

When Butterworth was killed in action on the Somme in 1916, Elgar was composing a patriotic tribute to the fallen, The Spirit of England, a setting of texts by the celebrated war poet Laurence Binyon. It is an underrated work notable for its subtlety and restraint in conveying the tragedy and desolation of war.

1916 also witnessed the Irish Easter Rising and the subsequent execution of sixteen of its leaders. Among them was Patrick Pearse, a man Bax knew and commemorated in his moving In Memoriam. Bax was also an admirer of Sibelius, whose Fifth Symphony emerged as Finland struggled for independence from Russia. The evening concludes with this ultimately
optimistic work that ends gloriously with what Sibelius called his ‘Swan Hymn’.

PLEASE NOTE THERE IS NO PRE-CONCERT EVENT.

Ticket booking and booking fees
Full price tickets from £11 + booking fee
£3 student tickets are available for many Hallé concerts. See here for more information.

If you are 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 £27, are being offered at half price.

A booking fee of £2 per ticket applies to telephone and online transactions. For more details about booking fees see The Bridgewater Hall website.

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Thursday
20
November
7:30 PM
The Bridgewater Hall
Manchester
Hallé: Thursday Series - Dvorák, Beethoven and Bartók

Hallé: Thursday Series - Dvorák, Beethoven and Bartók

Dvorák Overture: Carnival 10'
Beethoven Piano Concerto No.2 28'
Bartók Concerto for Orchestra 40'

Cristian Macelaru conductor | Francesco Piemontesi piano

This much-anticipated concert brings together two of the most prestigious young talents on the international music circuit. After his sensational Hallé debut last season, Francesco Piemontesi makes a swift return for Beethoven’s youthful Second Piano Concerto. Though in many ways a traditional work, it also looks forward to the more rebellious Beethoven of the future.

In recent years Cristian Macelaru has established an exciting presence on the podium through his insightful interpretations, poise and energy. As well as Dvorák’s perennially fresh and infectiously vibrant Carnival Overture, he conducts one of the great orchestral showcases, Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra. It is one of the composer’s most accessible, melodic and atmospheric works, encompassing his characteristic mastery of the sardonic, whimsical and even passionate romanticism.

Pre-concert event at 6.30pm - free to concert ticket holders
Cristian Macelaru and Tom Redmond
The second of the Hallé’s debutant conductors this season, the young Romanian Cristian Macelaru talks to Tom Redmond about his fast-growing career and about working with orchestras on both sides of the Atlantic. With music by students from Chetham’s School of Music.


Ticket prices and booking fees

Full price tickets from £11 + booking fee
£3 student tickets are available for many Hallé concerts. See here for more information.

If you are 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 £27, are being offered at half price.

A booking fee of £2 per ticket applies to telephone and online transactions. For more details about booking fees see The Bridgewater Hall website.

Thursday
15
January
7:30 PM
The Bridgewater Hall
Manchester
Hallé: Thursday Series - Vaughan Williams, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky

Hallé: Thursday Series - Vaughan Williams, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky

Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis 15'
Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.2 33'
Tchaikovsky Symphony No.6, ‘Pathétique’ 44'

Sir Mark Elder conductor | Henning Kraggerud violin

Acclaimed Norwegian violinist Henning Kraggerud, a big Hallé favourite, plays Shostakovich’s cathartic Second Concerto. A late work of the composer, its haunting opening prepares the way for many attractive tunes, more than its fair share of thrilling virtuosity and this enigmatic work ends in riotous high spirits!

The music of Vaughan Williams is particularly important to Sir Mark and tonight he conducts the composer’s ethereal Tallis Fantasia, a glorious fusion of folk song and sacred music evoking gothic vaults and the beauty of the English countryside. In his own words, Tchaikovsky put ‘more sincerity’ into his ‘Pathétique’ Symphony than into anything he had composed before. The result is one of the most poignant and moving swansongs in all music.

Pre-concert event at 6.30pm - free to concert ticket holders
Hallé Youth Choir performance
The outstanding Hallé Youth Choir with their Director, Richard Wilberforce explore some of the sounds which inspired Vaughan Williams to write his iconic masterpiece Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.  Tallis and his near-contemporaries Byrd and Sheppard wrote these works 500 years ago, and they rarely find their way into large concert halls, but they represent a golden age in English music.


Ticket prices and booking fees

Full price tickets from £11 + booking fee
£3 student tickets are available for many Hallé concerts. See here for more information.

If you are 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 £27, are being offered at half price.

A booking fee of £2 per ticket applies to telephone and online transactions. For more details about booking fees see The Bridgewater Hall website.

Thursday
12
February
7:30 PM
The Bridgewater Hall
Manchester
Hallé: Thursday Series - Grieg, Shostakovich and Nielsen

Hallé: Thursday Series - Grieg, Shostakovich and Nielsen

Grieg Peer Gynt: selection 21'
Shostakovich Cello Concerto No.1 29'
Nielsen Symphony No.3, ‘Sinfonia espansiva’ 39'

Nikolaj Znaider conductor | Jian Wang cello | Katherine Watson soprano | Gary Griffiths baritone 

Katherine Watson soprano | Gary Griffiths baritone Grieg actually disliked Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, but for a production of the play he composed some of his most inspired and best-known music, including ‘Morning Mood’, ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ and some delectable songs for soprano and baritone.

Shostakovich’s highly personal First Cello Concerto was dedicated to Rostropovich, the legendary Russian cellist who barely noticed the work’s ferocious technical demands on the soloist! Rest assured, the distinguished Chinese cellist Jian Wang will more than rise to the challenge.

After the interval, Nikolaj Znaider conducts his compatriot Carl Nielsen’s ‘Sinfonia espansiva’, one of the Dane’s most genial and optimistic creations. It opens with an incredible burst of energy – a single note repeated twenty-six times – while the second movement features wordless vocal lines that weave beautifully in and out of the orchestral texture.

Pre-concert event at 6.30pm - free to concert ticket holders
Hallé Youth Orchestra performance
The Hallé Youth Orchestra’s Music Director, Jamie Phillips has taken his cue from this evening’s main event and conducts the orchestra in Nielsen and Grieg. As a prelude to tonight’s ‘Espansiva’ Symphony, he presents a movement from Nielsen’s earlier symphony ‘The Four Temperaments’, as well as one of Grieg’s Elegiac Melodies. Jamie Phillips adds his own insights, in conversation with Tom Redmond.


Ticket prices and booking fees

Full price tickets from £17 + booking fee
£3 student tickets are available for many Hallé concerts. See here for more information.

If you are 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 £27, are being offered at half price.

A booking fee of £2 per ticket applies to telephone and online transactions. For more details about booking fees see The Bridgewater Hall website.

Thursday
19
February
7:30 PM
The Bridgewater Hall
Manchester
Hallé: Thursday Series - Brahms, 
Beethoven and Haydn

Hallé: Thursday Series - Brahms, 
Beethoven and Haydn

Brahms Tragic Overture 15'
Beethoven Symphony No.4 32'
Haydn Nelson Mass 45'

Sir Mark Elder conductor | Soloists | Hallé Choir 

Sir Mark conducts the Nelson Mass, a late, great work of Haydn’s, widely regarded as one the composer’s greatest achievements. Originally conceived as a response to Napoleon’s aggressive and acquisitive foreign policy, it gained its nickname after Admiral Nelson defeated the French navy at the famous Battle of the Nile. It is an experience not to be missed.

Brahms’ turbulent Tragic Overture is the melancholy alter-ego of his jovial Academic Festival Overture, a piece Sir Mark conducts on 16 April. The former is a powerful, dramatic work that could almost be the first movement of a symphony. After this we hear Beethoven’s exuberant Fourth Symphony. For Sir Mark and the Hallé this high-spirited work has become something of a party piece that never fails to wow audiences both here and all over the world.

PLEASE NOTE THERE IS NO PRE-CONCERT EVENT 

Ticket prices and booking fees
Full price tickets from £11 + booking fee
£3 student tickets are available for many Hallé concerts. See here for more information.

If you are 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 £27, are being offered at half price.

A booking fee of £2 per ticket applies to telephone and online transactions. For more details about booking fees see The Bridgewater Hall website.

Thursday
05
March
7:30 PM
The Bridgewater Hall
Manchester
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra: Thursday Series - Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra: Thursday Series - Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky

Rimsky-Korsakov Overture: The Tsar’s Bride 7'
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.2 44'
Tchaikovsky Symphony No.4 46'

Vasily Petrenko conductor | Nikolai Lugansky piano

The Hallé gives a warm welcome to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and its charismatic Russian Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko. They are joined by Petrenko’s compatriot Nikolai Lugansky who brings his immense technical and musical gifts to bear on Tchaikovsky’s Second Piano Concerto. The work might not be as well-known as its hugely famous forerunner, but it equals the First Concerto in its profusion of great melodies and its stunning virtuoso pianism. 

Before this, we are treated to the wonderfully boisterous and melodic overture Rimsky-Korsakov wrote for his opera The Tsar’s Bride. Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony is dominated by a recurring ‘fate motif’ and while its composer admitted to being ‘down in the dumps’ when he wrote it, it ends in a blaze of joyful celebration.

Pre-concert event at 6.30pm - free to concert ticket holders
Vasily Petrenko and Sandra Parr
The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s dynamic Russian conductor discusses tonight’s programme of Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky and working with the orchestra he has headed for nine years in concert and in the studio. Music will be provided by musicians from the Royal Northern College of Music.


Ticket prices and booking fees

Full price tickets from £11 + booking fee
£3 student tickets are available for many Hallé concerts. See here for more information.

If you are 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 £27, are being offered at half price.

A booking fee of £2 per ticket applies to telephone and online transactions. For more details about booking fees see The Bridgewater Hall website.

Thursday
19
March
7:30 PM
The Bridgewater Hall
Manchester
Hallé: Thursday Series - Shostakovich and Mahler

Hallé: Thursday Series - Shostakovich and Mahler

Shostakovich Cello Concerto No.2 30'
Mahler Symphony No.5 70'

Sir Mark Elder conductor | Alisa Weilerstein cello

Few cellists could be more suited to the broad expressive palette of Shostakovich’s Second Concerto than the young American Alisa Weilerstein, winner of the BBC Music Magazine Recording of the Year 2014. More intimate and enigmatic than its predecessor, the piece is full of beautiful and engaging ideas, all of which are organised with quite remarkable invention.

Like the Shostakovich, Mahler’s extraordinary Fifth Symphony was written while its composer was recovering from a potentially fatal health condition. Its ravishing slow movement – the musical backdrop to Luchino Visconti’s classic film Death in Venice – was an extended love song to Mahler’s new wife Alma. And though it opens with a sombre (and at times quite terrifying) Funeral March, the symphony’s ultimate message is unmistakably hopeful and life-affirming.

Pre-concert event at 6.30pm - free to concert ticket holders
Sir Mark Elder
As this season’s Shostakovich concerto cycle reaches mid-point, Sir Mark Elder considers the wide range of the composer’s output in this form.  He looks forward to joining Alisa Weilerstein in the Second Cello Concerto later tonight, and also talks about Mahler’s towering Fifth Symphony.


Ticket prices and booking fees

Full price tickets from £11 + booking fee
£3 student tickets are available for many Hallé concerts. See here for more information.

If you are 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 £27, are being offered at half price.

A booking fee of £2 per ticket applies to telephone and online transactions. For more details about booking fees see The Bridgewater Hall website.

Thursday
16
April
7:30 PM
The Bridgewater Hall
Manchester
Hallé: Thursday Series - Brahms, Tarik O’Regan and Holst

Hallé: Thursday Series - Brahms, Tarik O’Regan and Holst

Brahms Academic Festival Overture 10'
Tarik O’Regan A Celestial Map of the Sky: 1515 15'
Holst The Planets 50'

Sir Mark Elder conductor | Ladies of the Hallé Choir  | Hallé Youth Choir  | Manchester Grammar School Choir

A very special event celebrating the 500th birthday of Manchester Grammar School. How better to begin than with Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture, his cheerful medley of student songs?

To mark its quincentenary, the school has commissioned an exciting new work from one of the UK’s leading composers, Tarik O’Regan. A setting of poems inspired by the stars, his fast-paced A Celestial Map of the Sky: 1515 not only has MGS’s year of foundation in its title but will also be performed by massed vocal forces, including the school’s choir. The cosmic theme continues with a great masterpiece by a schoolteacher, Gustav Holst’s The Planets. From the apocalyptic brutality of Mars to the mysterious light of Neptune, Holst’s music is simply out of this world!

PLEASE NOTE THERE IS NO PRE-CONCERT EVENT. 

Ticket prices and booking fees

Full price tickets from £11 + booking fee
£3 student tickets are available for many Hallé concerts. See here for more information.

If you are 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 £27, are being offered at half price.

A booking fee of £2 per ticket applies to telephone and online transactions. For more details about booking fees see The Bridgewater Hall website.

Thursday
07
May
7:30 PM
The Bridgewater Hall
Manchester
Hallé: Thursday Series - Ives, Grime and Walton

Hallé: Thursday Series - Ives, Grime and Walton

Ives The Unanswered Question 6'
Helen Grime Concerto for clarinet and trumpet 25'
Walton Symphony No.1 43'

Markus Stenz conductor | Lynsey Marsh clarinet | Gareth Small trumpet 

Charles Ives was a visionary, an astonishingly original musical voice. Inspired by the poetry of Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Unanswered Question is a fascinating study in contrasts in which a solo trumpet poses ‘The Perennial Question of Existence’ yet fails to get an answer from the rest of the players. 

Next in this enthralling programme, Markus Stenz conducts a much-anticipated new work by Helen Grime, the Orchestra’s gifted Associate Composer who was so inspired by the Hallé’s Lynsey Marsh and Gareth Small that she wrote them a double concerto. The second half features Oldham-born William Walton’s riveting First Symphony, a score of volcanic power and near-overwhelming dramatic intensity.

Pre-concert event at 6.30pm - free to concert ticket holders
Markus Stenz and Helen Grime
Inspired by the playing of Hallé soloists, Helen Grime, the Hallé’s Associate Composer, chose to write a concerto for clarinet and trumpet as her major Hallé commission, which is to be performed in tonight’s concert by Lynsey Marsh and Gareth Small. She discusses the genesis of her new work with Markus Stenz, who also looks ahead to performing Walton’s First Symphony, one of his favourite symphonies from the English repertoire. With music from students at the Royal Northern College of Music.

Ticket prices and booking fees
Full price tickets from £11 + booking fee
£3 student tickets are available for many Hallé concerts. See here for more information.

If you are 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 £27, are being offered at half price.

A booking fee of £2 per ticket applies to telephone and online transactions. For more details about booking fees see The Bridgewater Hall website.

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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. The latest release is Elgar's The Apostles.

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The Hallé's award-winning Education Programme reaches over 44,000 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 155th 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.