All events Concert

Sunlight on water: Sibelius and Beethoven

Royal Festival Hall
£13 — £65
Book tickets

Booking for Friends of the Philharmonia opens at 10am on Thursday, 1 July. General booking opens Thursday, 8 July.

Santtu-Matias Rouvali


Santtu-Matias Rouvali – conductor
Pekka Kuusisto – violin


Sibelius Violin Concerto

— Interval —

Beethoven Symphony No. 6, Pastoral

A conductor who feels most at home in the Finnish forest, and a violinist who is a vocal supporter of environmental campaigns, join forces for the final concert in the Philharmonia’s Human / Nature series.

Pekka Kuusisto is the Philharmonia’s Featured Artist for the 2021/22 season. He joins his compatriot, Principal Conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali, in a piece that flows through the veins of every Finnish musician: Sibelius’s powerful and profound Violin Concerto. It’s hard to resist reaching for similes from the natural world to describe Sibelius’s music, and The Times called a recent performance of this masterpiece by Kuusisto ‘as silvery and fleeting as winter sunlight on water.’

Sibelius’s moody, intense musical landscapes are a far cry from the world of Beethoven’s ‘Pastoral’ Symphony. Beethoven conjures up a countryside idyll as perhaps only a city-dwelling Romantic can – a place of gently bubbling streams, birdsong, and, in the third movement, ‘a merry gathering of country folk’. Even the dramatic fourth movement, full of timpani thunder, brings us safely to the finale, ‘Cheerful and thankful feelings after the storm.’ Beethoven knew first hand the power of spending time in nature to bring solace from the storms and stresses of work and ill-health. He gave that solace to his city listeners in music that still brings us joy today.

This concert is also available to watch on demand online from 7.30pm on Thursday 16 December.

This concert is supported by the Laurence Modiano Charitable Trust.

Need to know

Prices & Discounts

£13 – £65

Multi-buy offer available; under-18s and concessions discounts available; discounted tickets for students via Student Pulse one month before the concert (limited availability)

Running time:

1h 50 minutes, including a 20 minute interval

Recommended age

From 7+

Programme notes

Free printed programmes will be available at the venue. Digital programme notes available a week before the event

Box office

Philharmonia Box Office: 0800 652 6717

Before the event

Small-ensemble performance

Philharmonia Chamber Players: Theseus

Zsolt-Tihamér Visontay – violin
Fiona Cornall – violin
Gijs Kramer – viola
Deirdre Cooper – cello
Heidi Krutzen – harp

  • Bax Quintet for Harp and Strings
  • Raymond Murray Schafer Theseus
Royal Festival Hall

More info No ticket required


Royal Festival Hall

Royal Festival Hall

Southbank Centre
Belvedere Road

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Book tickets
£13 — £65