Paavo Järvi – conductor
James Ehnes – violin


Debussy Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune Listen

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto Listen

— Interval —

Prokofiev Symphony No. 6 Listen

Tchaikovsky wrote his captivating Violin Concerto on holiday by Lake Geneva with the young student he hoped would premiere it. Tonight Tchaikovsky’s heartfelt outpouring of melody is in the hands of outstanding soloist James Ehnes. In the words of The Guardian’s reviewer, Ehnes’s last performance with the Philharmonia “achieved a level of perfection… that puts him in a class of his own”.

Conductor Paavo Järvi, a longstanding favourite with our musicians and audiences alike, pairs the Tchaikovksy with Prokofiev’s Sixth Symphony, composed in 1947. Prokofiev told a friend that the symphony was his response to the devastation caused by World War II: ‘Now we are rejoicing in our great victory, but each of us has wounds that cannot be healed’. The dark emotions of the first two movements are swept away, though, by a cheerful finale that brings to mind Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, full of dancing string melodies, whistling woodwind and bold timpani.

To open, Järvi has chosen Debussy’s lush and sensual evocation of a faun enjoying a sun-dappled afternoon. Its dreamy, improvisatory flute melodies transport us to a world of fantasy and pleasure.

This concert was originally advertised with Daniil Trifonov playing Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Due to unavoidable visa processing delays, Daniil Trifonov is unable to appear, and we are very grateful to James Ehnes for stepping in. Daniil Trifonov joins us for Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2 on Thursday 2 May 2024 – tickets are on sale now.

Need to know

Prices & Discounts

£20 – £75

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

Running time

1 hr 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
Monday to Friday 10am – 5pm


Royal Festival Hall

Royal Festival Hall

Southbank Centre
Belvedere Road

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