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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


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.

“★★★★ Every musician played as a soloist; every note counted. This was music-making at its best, in any circumstances.”

Flora Willson, The Guardian

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.

Need to know

Prices and discounts


Running time

75 minutes

Programme notes

Read the full programme notes here

How to book

Tickets are available via TicketCo. Full details on the Buy Access link above

How long is this available for?

This concert is available until April 2021. You have 28 days to watch after buying access

When was this broadcast?

This concert took place on Monday 26 October 2020 at Royal Festival Hall

Was it produced safely?

Yes. We work with independent health and safety experts and have robust risk assessment procedures in place drawing from Public Health England advice

More on this


Preview: COPLAND Appalachian Spring - II. Allegro


Preview: STEVE REICH Music for Pieces of Wood

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