All events Concert

Pictures of Russia

Royal Festival Hall
£13 — £65
Book tickets

Booking for Friends of the Philharmonia opens at 10am on Thursday, 4 November. General booking opens Thursday, 11 November.

Violinist holding his instrument smiling in Central Park.


Stanislav Kochanovsky – conductor
Gil Shaham – violin


Shostakovich October Listen

Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2 Listen

— Interval —

Mussorgsky orch. Ravel Pictures at an Exhibition Listen

GRAMMY® Award-winning American violinist Gil Shaham joins the Philharmonia in a vivid all-Russian programme.

Shostakovich and Prokofiev trod an almost impossible line during the years of Soviet rule in Russia. The balancing act between expressing their own truth and satisfying the requirements of the regime was fraught with danger. On the surface, Shostakovich’s October, composed for the 50th anniversary of the 1917 Revolution, is a heroic piece in a straightforward film-music style. But behind the bombast lies a characteristic hint of sarcasm.

Lyrical, long-breathed melodies, perfectly suited to Shaham’s warm tone, fill the first two movements of Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto. But the violin’s singing lines are tinged with darkness, and give way to a tumultuous, stumbling dance in the finale.

Mussorgsky’s best-loved work crowns this evening’s programme. It’s a musical promenade around an actual exhibition by the composer’s friend Viktor Hartmann, encompassing characters from Russian fairytales, views of Paris and Rome, and the imposing Great Gate of Kiev.

Need to know

Prices & Discounts

£13 – £65

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

Running time:

1h 45 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

Before the concert

Woman and man in a panel discussion.

Insights talk

Thursday 7 April, 6pm, The Clore Ballroom

Learn more about this evening’s programme with Professor Natasha Loges.


Royal Festival Hall

Royal Festival Hall

Southbank Centre
Belvedere Road

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Book tickets
£13 — £65