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Mitsuko Uchida plays Beethoven

Royal Festival Hall
£20 — £85
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Mitsuko Uchida bowing on stage after performing


Esa-Pekka Salonen – conductor
Mitsuko Uchida – piano


Beethoven Overture, Leonore No. 2 Listen

Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2 Listen

— Interval —

Sibelius Lemminkäinen Legends Listen

Revered pianist Dame Mitsuko Uchida is the soloist in Beethoven’s joyous Second Piano Concerto, and Esa-Pekka Salonen returns to London for the first time since stepping down as our Principal Conductor.

Uchida is known as a peerless interpreter of Beethoven. Her 2021 performance with the Philharmonia and Esa-Pekka Salonen, marking the return of live orchestral concerts after the Covid lockdowns, garnered five-star reviews and was acclaimed as ‘playful yet profound, creating the kind of communal moments of close listening we’ve all been missing.’ (The Guardian). Tonight she turns to the concerto Beethoven composed to make his public debut in Vienna – crystal clear and full of youthful grace.

Lemminkäinen is the colourful hero of the Kalevala, an epic of Finnish folklore. He makes an ideal subject for Sibelius, a leading light in the movement for Finnish independence. Sibelius chose four contrasting legends for this suite – our hero seduces 1000 brides before their menfolk chase him off; an unearthly cor anglais solo depicts the swan who guards Tuonela, the island of the dead; Lemminkäinen is killed by his nemesis but restored to life by his own mother; then the final movement traces his triumphant return from his adventures.

The starter of this musical feast is Beethoven’s overture for his only opera. It encapsulates the opera’s journey from prison and despair to hope and freedom, in music full of drama and emotion.

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

2 hrs, 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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Book tickets
£20 — £85