Keep the Philharmonia Playing: many live concerts up to March 2021 are sadly cancelled. If you can, give what you can to keep the Philharmonia playing for you.

Donate now

Watch on demand: Salonen conducts Ravel and Britten

Conductor Esa Pekka Salonen on stage during a concert


Esa-Pekka Salonen – conductor
Julia Bullock – soprano


Ravel Pavane pour une infante défunte

Britten Les illuminations

Ravel Mother Goose (complete ballet)


Read the programme notes here

The 2020/21 season is Esa-Pekka Salonen’s last as Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor of the Philharmonia, a position he has held since 2008. For his first concert in this landmark season he has invited outstanding American soprano Julia Bullock to make her Philharmonia and Royal Festival Hall debut.

At the heart of the programme is Britten’s Les Illuminations, a setting of nine poems by Rimbaud. Britten’s expressive writing for voice and strings, and Rimbaud’s vivid and fantastical texts, lure us into an unearthly, dreamlike world.

Salonen and Bullock’s performance of this piece with the San Francisco Symphony was acclaimed as “something of a revelation… a performance of magnificent expansiveness” (San Francisco Chronicle).

To frame the Britten, Salonen has chosen two equally evocative pieces by Ravel. His Pavane imagines a princess of the Spanish Golden Age in a slow, graceful dance. And each exquisitely delicate movement of the 1912 ballet he created from his Mother Goose Suite paints a vivid fairytale scene.

Gentle flutes introduce Sleeping Beauty, sprightly percussion and woodwinds tell the story of the Empress of the Pagodas. Ravel’s unmatched talent for orchestration gives every member of the Philharmonia a chance to shine.

This concert is supported by Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Watch trailers


Preview: RAVEL Pavane pour une infante défunte

Upcoming online concerts

Violinist Nicola Benedetti
Online concert

Live stream: Benedetti plays Beethoven

Pekka Kuusisto – conductor
Nicola Benedetti – violin
John Suchet – presenter



  • Beethoven Violin Concerto
  • Beethoven Symphony No. 2

Early bird booking is now open for Friends (become a Friend).
Tickets go on general sale on Friday 2 October at 9.30am.

Stephen Fry smiling at camera
Online concert

Philharmonia Sessions: Beethoven’s Prometheus

Esa-Pekka Salonen – conductor
Stephen Fry – narrator
Gerard McBurney – script writer
Hillary Leben – animator

  • Beethoven The Creatures of Prometheus (complete ballet)

Keep up to date

Sign up for email updates and be the first to receive stories, films and concert announcements

Sign up

Friends Gift Membership

Give the music lover in your life the chance to get closer to one of the world’s greatest orchestras.

Gift now