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Open Rehearsal: Herbert Blomstedt and Leonidas Kavakos

Royal Festival Hall
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Close up shot of Herbert Blomstedt conducting in concert


Herbert Blomstedt – conductor
Leonidas Kavakos – violin


Mozart Violin Concerto No. 4, K. 218

Mahler Symphony No. 9

How does a conductor communicate their interpretation of a piece with an orchestra and the soloist as they prepare for a performance?

Our Open Rehearsals give you access to this creative process and allow you to see the Philharmonia at work. Learn more about the pieces and start to listen to your favourites with a fresh pair of ears.

Revered conductor Herbert Blomstedt, still sharing the delight he finds in music-making in his late nineties, conducts Mahler’s Ninth Symphony.

The last work Mahler completed, his Ninth is a work of overwhelming emotional impact. In almost 90 minutes, it spans doubt and defiance; grief and hope; climaxes of devastating power, and a hushed ending that can make an enthralled audience of thousands almost forget to breathe. This chance to hear it in the hands of the Philharmonia Orchestra, and one of the most respected and well-loved conductors of our time, is a highlight in London’s cultural calendar.

Violinist Leonidas Kavakos joins us in the fourth of Mozart’s five violin concertos. Its clarity and refinement are the perfect foil to Mahler’s full-bodied fare. Kavakos’s last performance with us was “pitch perfect… [He] gave the audience an afternoon of life-enhancing joy” (Seen and Heard International).

This rehearsal will be followed by a Q&A with one of our musicians.




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Running time

Approximately 3 hrs (subject to change)

Recommended age

From 7+

Programme notes

Digital programme notes available closer to the rehearsal.

Contact the Friends team

Phone: 020 7921 3906

Concerto and Symphony Friends

Concerto and Symphony Friends members can claim their complimentary pair of open rehearsal tickets by emailing


Open rehearsals are not performances. Playing may be paused at various intervals in order for the conductor, soloist and orchestra to agree on specific styles and dynamics.

Open rehearsals will take place in the auditorium where the concert is due to be performed, unless otherwise specified. Times and repertoire being rehearsed will be confirmed prior to the rehearsal date, as these schedules are subject to change.

Please note that open rehearsals are working processes for the conductor and the Orchestra, we cannot guarantee that pieces will be played in their entirety. Timings are subject to change and every endeavour will be made to let ticket holders know in advance about any such changes. Please check our website for up-to-date information.


Royal Festival Hall

Royal Festival Hall

Southbank Centre
Belvedere Road

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