Watch on demand: Steven Isserlis plays Schumann

Cellist Steven Isserlis on stage


Simone Young – conductor

Steven Isserlis – cello


LISZT Orpheus

SCHUMANN Cello Concerto

SCHUBERT Symphony No. 4, ‘Tragic’



Buy access now

Steven Isserlis is a huge Schumann fan, and an enthusiastic advocate for his music, as performer, author, broadcaster and programmer. He’s also one of the finest and most thoughtful cellists around, an ideal interpreter for Schumann’s personal, poetic Cello Concerto. Schumann wasn’t interested in the concerto form as a vehicle for the ego of a superstar soloist. He entrances his listeners not with virtuosity but with deep emotion, in music so expressive it could almost be improvised.

Liszt’s short symphonic poem Orpheus is just the thing to whet our appetites for the Schumann. He calls on two harps to represent Orpheus’s lyre, a symbol across the centuries for the power of music itself. Liszt himself explained that he wanted to encapsulate ‘the song radiated by every work of art’.

To complete this rich and engaging programme, Simone Young conducts Schubert’s Fourth Symphony, the ‘Tragic’. Don’t be fooled by the melodramatic title (which Schubert added some time after completing it, aged just 19). There’s more vigour and drama than tragedy in its outer movements, framing a slow movement brimming with tenderness, and a jaunty minuet.

Filmed as live at Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre

Capture date: Sunday 11 April 2021

Prices & Discounts

£10 to £20

For Friends of the Philharmonia:
Standard ticket: £11
Five-concert subscription: £45
Become a Friend here. The booking code for Friends will be included in your confirmation email. If you are an existing Friend, we will send you your booking code.

For other bookers:
Standard ticket: £12
Standard+ ticket: £20
Five-concert subscription: £50
Five-concert subscription+: £90

If there will be more than one person watching the concert in your household, or if you are able to pay a bit more to help us recover from the financial impact of lockdown, please consider buying a Standard+ ticket for £20, or a Subscription+ for £90. The viewing experience will be the same as with a Standard ticket.

When and where

This concert was filmed at Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, and will premiere on Friday 30 April 2021 at 7.30pm. It was filmed on 11 April 2021

How can I watch

You will get an email with a unique link to watch the stream. You can watch as many times as you want after that for 30 days. For further details on how to book and watch, visit our FAQs page

Running time

80 minutes


Is this a live performance?

No. This performance is filmed as live but it took place on 11 April 2021

Was it produced safely?

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

Programme notes

Read the digital programme notes for this concert

Streamed from Southbank Centre

Online concerts from our London home


View events