Elgar Festival

In this fascinating three-part Elgar Festival, the Hallé and master Elgarian, Mark Elder, explore different aspects of the composer’s complex musical personality.


Elgar Symphony No.1

Thursday 9 March 2017, 7.30pm
Tickets from £13.50 (inc. booking fee *)
Sir Mark Elder – conductor
Madeleine Shaw – mezzo-soprano

The programme includes:
Overture: Froissart
Grania and Diarmid: Incidental Music; Funeral March and ‘There are Seven’
Pomp and Circumstance March No.3

Book ‘Elgar Symphony No.1’

Beyond The Score ®, Elgar’s Enigma Variations

Saturday 11 March 2017, 7pm
Tickets from £13 (inc. booking fee *)
Sir Mark Elder – conductor
Gerard McBurney – presenter
Samuel West – actor (Edward Elgar)
Robert Pickavance, actor
Tamzin Griffin, actor
Paul Janes, piano

With the Hallé on stage throughout, actors, singers and film tell the story of Elgar’s Enigma Variations, followed by a complete performance

Book Elgar’s Enigma Variations’

Elgar The Dream of Gerontious

Sunday 12 March 2017, 6.30pm
Tickets from £13.50 (inc. booking fee *)
Sir Mark Elder – conductor
David Butt Philip – tenor
Sasha Cooke – mezzo-soprano
Iain Paterson – bass-baritone
Hallé Choir
Hallé Youth Choir

A stellar cast joined by our very own choirs

Book Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius’


A personal view from Mark Elder
A festival such as this offers the opportunity to include music such as the three shorter works in the first concert. Relatively recent discoveries for me, each one represents in its own way top-drawer Elgar, and each of them is fascinating. Froissart, for a composer’s first large orchestral score, is an amazing achievement. The invention is so fresh and confident, and never outstays its welcome.

No.3 is the least-known of the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, the most dramatic and ominous of them, showing the mature Elgar’s complete mastery of the orchestra.
The most unexpected item is the music Elgar wrote to the play ‘Grania and Diarmid’ by George Moore and W.B.Yeats. Elgar’s sense of dramatic imagery is nowhere more vivid than in the haunting romantic beginnings and the steady tread of the noble funeral march, and the magical, mystical little song with which it ends.

I have wanted, ever since I conducted the first ‘Beyond the Score’ in Chicago over ten years ago, to bring Gerard McBurney’s inspired explorations into familiar and less-familiar works to Manchester. As we found last season with the New World Symphony, this original way of delving behind a masterpiece has astonished many listeners who are confident in their knowledge and love of familiar pieces of music. If ever a great work lends itself to examination it is the Enigma Variations; it remains to be seen whether the famous ‘enigma’ itself will be revealed!

Many have shared my deep appreciation of The Dream of Gerontius, through numerous performances with the Hallé and Hallé Choir. But one of the great pleasures of enduring masterpieces such as this is the way a new generation of performers can bring freshness and new insights. Just as the Hallé Youth Choir brought a new glow as the semi-chorus in our recording, we are working this time with one of the new generation of young British tenors, with the wonderful American mezzo-soprano I came across working together on Die Meistersinger in San Francisco, and our leading Scottish bass-baritone, familiar through his great Wagner performances with us here and round the world, and who has sung this work with the Hallé in Edinburgh, but this will be his first time in Manchester. I can’t wait.


Gerard McBurney biography

Gerard McBurney is the Creative Director of Beyond The Score.

Gerard McBurney Biography


How to book

  • Online: click or tab on any of the concerts above
  • Telephone: by calling 0161 907 9000
  • In person: at The Bridgewater Hall Box Office, Lower Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3WS

Please note: All artists and programmes are correct at the time of going to press, but may change in the event of unforeseen circumstances. Keep up to date at www.halle.co.uk/whats-on.

All prices and tickets including discounts and concessions, are subject to availability. Prices may change and you may only use one discount per ticket.

Everyone, including babes in arms for appropriate concerts, must have a purchased ticket. Other than for specific family concerts, we recommend that younger members of our audiences be at least of primary school age.


* Booking fees

The Bridgewater Hall applies a booking fee of £2 per ticket to telephone and online transactions. Tickets bought in person at the Box Office using a debit or credit card are subject to a 2% booking fee. No fee applies to tickets bought in person and paid for by cash or cheque or purchased as part of a fixed or flexible subscription.


Box office opening hours

  • Monday to Saturday 10am – 6pm (8pm on concert nights)
  • Sunday (concert nights only) 12pm – 8pm
  • Closed on non-concert Sundays

Refunds / ticket exchange

Tickets cannot be refunded, but may be exchanged subject to The Bridgewater Hall’s terms and conditions. If you are unable to attend a concert, The Bridgewater Hall will credit your account with the cost of your tickets, provided they are physically returned to the Box Office at least three working days before the concert date. This credit amount (minus a return fee of £2.20 per ticket) can then be used to purchase tickets for another concert of your choice.


New album
Elgar – For the Fallen

Released in February 2017, featuring Elgar’s The Spirit of England, Une Voix dans le Désert, Grania and Diarmid and Bax’s In Memoriam. You can order the album in the link below:

Order our new Elgar album


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