Marin Alsop – conductor
Marcus Roberts Trio:
Marcus Roberts – piano
Jason Marsalis – drums
Martin Jaffe – bass


Johnson Drums – A Symphonic Poem

Barber Symphony No. 1 Listen

— Interval —

Copland Fanfare for the Common Man Listen

Tower Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman

Bernstein Three Dance Episodes from On the Town Listen

Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue

A high-octane all-American programme featuring the Marcus Roberts Trio opens our series Let Freedom Ring: Celebrating the Sounds of America.

This survey of a century of American music opens with a bang – the effervescent Drums, by James P. Johnson, a key figure in the early years of jazz. And there’s more time in the limelight for the Philharmonia’s percussion and brass sections in two fanfares – Joan Tower’s is dedicated to our Principal Guest Conductor Marin Alsop, the ‘Uncommon Woman’ conducting tonight’s concert.

On the Town is Leonard Bernstein’s love letter to his adopted city. It was his first Broadway musical, written in 1944 when he was in his mid-twenties. Tonight’s Three Dance Episodes include the catchy hit New York, New York.

Many of the pieces in this series don’t just blur the boundaries between ‘classical’ and ‘popular’ music, they tear them up completely. Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, with its unmistakeable sliding clarinet opening, is perhaps the most famous example.  The virtuosity and almost telepathic rapport of the Marcus Roberts Trio, who visit London specially for Let Freedom Ring, takes this masterpiece of the Jazz Age to a whole new level.

Part of Let Freedom Ring

Need to know

Prices & Discounts

£10 – £65

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

Running time

1 hr 40 mins, including a 20 minute interval

Recommended age

From 7+

Programme notes

Free printed programmes will be available at the venue. Digital programme notes available here.

Box office

Philharmonia Box Office: 0800 652 6717
Monday to Friday 10am – 5pm

After the event

Conductor Marin Alsop in white shirt sitting on a chair.
9.30pm, Clore Ballroom

Insights Talk - Marin Alsop in conversation with Marcus Roberts

An insight into ‘The American Sound’, its meaning, influence, and impact. Alsop and Roberts explore the pieces contained in the American Series, highlighting the forgotten voices, and showcasing some of the stories around the well loved American classics.

Free, no ticket required


Royal Festival Hall

Royal Festival Hall

Southbank Centre
Belvedere Road

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