All events Concert

Marin Alsop conducts Mahler’s Fifth Symphony

Royal Festival Hall
£15 — £85
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Marin Alsop – conductor
Sasha Cooke – mezzo-soprano


Gustav Mahler Blumine

Alma Mahler Selection of songs (orch. David & Colin Matthews), including:

Die stille Stadt


Bei dir ist es traut

— Interval —

Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 5

Marin Alsop, our Principal Guest Conductor, and singer Sasha Cooke delve into the rich emotional world of Gustav and Alma Mahler.

From its sinister opening trumpet fanfare to the joyful affirmation of the finale, Mahler’s Fifth Symphony packs quite a punch. Perhaps the best-loved music he wrote, the Adagietto at its heart is ten minutes of pure, heartwrenching beauty from strings and harp. The story goes that Mahler sent a copy of this movement to his future wife Alma as a declaration of love, and they were engaged soon after.

This wasn’t his first musical love letter though – years earlier he’d written Blumine for another flame. Initially a movement in his first symphony, he deleted it after only a few performances and it is now mostly heard as a standalone piece. The singing melody threaded through it gives our Principal Trumpet the chance to show their gentler side.

Alma Mahler’s music is less well known than her husband’s – not least because in the early years of their relationship he insisted that she give up composing. Her refined and moving songs are well worth discovering. Tonight’s selection of songs from the 14 that survive showcase the ‘sonorous and expressive’ (Opera News) voice of Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke.

There will be surtitles showing the English translation of the Alma Mahler songs. These are not visible from seats in the choir. 

Need to know

Prices & Discounts

£15 – £75

Multibuy offer available; under-18s and concessions discounts available

Running time

1 hr 50 mins, including an interval

Recommended age

From 7+

Programme notes

Free printed programmes will be available at the venue. Digital programme notes available will be 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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Book tickets
£15 — £85