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Watch on demand: Santtu-Matias Rouvali—American Dreams

Conductor Santtu Matias Rouvali and the Philharmonia on stage at the Royal Festival Hall


Santtu-Matias Rouvali – conductor


Copland Appalachian Spring

PRICE arr. STILL Dances in the Canebrakes

Steve Reich Music for Pieces of Wood

Stravinsky Dumbarton Oaks


Read the programme notes here

75 years ago, almost to the day, the Philharmonia Orchestra gave its first concert. Our Principal Conductor Designate Santtu-Matias Rouvali opens a season like no other in the Orchestra’s three-quarters of a century.

A trio of American composers, and one who became an American citizen, rub shoulders in Santtu’s appealing programme. Aaron Copland’s much-loved Appalachian Spring tells the tender, hopeful story of a young couple preparing for their wedding.

Santtu joins the Philharmonia’s percussion section on claves (tuned woodblocks) for Steve Reich’s mesmerizing Music for Pieces of Wood. Florence Price conjures up the Deep South of her childhood in three characterful dances, a Rag, a Slow Drag and a Cakewalk, arranged by her friend William Grant Still.

Igor Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks is named after the grand Washington home of the couple who commissioned it. But with its lively counterpoint and contrast of timbres between strings, woodwind and horns, it is an homage not to American music but to JS Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos.

This concert is supported by the American Patrons of the Philharmonia Foundation.

Watch trailers


Preview: COPLAND Appalachian Spring - II. Allegro


Preview: STEVE REICH Music for Pieces of Wood

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