A chance to hear Dvořák’s best-loved symphony as we return to Bedford for our first performance of 2022 with conductor Eun Sun Kim and British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor.
The programme opens with the most lyrical piece Wagner ever wrote. Composed for his wife’s birthday, he first performed it for her on the steps of their villa with a small ensemble on a cold Christmas morning. With tender melodies and small secret moments inspired by their family, it stands as a deeply personal work.
By contrast, Liszt’s First Piano Concerto is bold, thrilling and almost symphonic in scale. Its virtuosity serves as the perfect showpiece for the talent of Benjamin Grosvenor, spanning the full expressive range of the instrument in the space of just 20 minutes. Grosvenor makes his first appearance with us since taking centre stage at our 2020 BBC Proms performance – “Grosvenor brought to the party exactly the right sort of steely-toned power”, The Times.
After the interval we venture across the Atlantic for that timeless masterpiece, Dvořák’s New World Symphony. Blending his trademark Czech style with the Native American music and African-American spirituals Dvořák came to love and admire during his time in the United States, the symphony packs drama, excitement and hope into one unforgettable work. From the quietly optimistic melody of the Largo to the blazing finale, it’s easy to see why this symphony remains popular across the world.
Need to know
Prices & Discounts
£14 – £38
Multi-buy offer available; under-16s and concession discounts available
1 hour 50 minutes, including 20-minute interval
Philharmonia box office: 0800 652 6717