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Santtu conducts Tchaikovsky

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


Santtu-Matias Rouvali – conductor
Bruce Liu – piano


Tchaikovsky Francesca da Rimini Listen

Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 Listen

— Interval —

Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6, Pathétique Listen

Canadian pianist Bruce Liu, winner of the 2021 Frédéric Chopin International Piano Competition, joins the orchestra for an evening of Tchaikovsky masterworks. 

Liu’s performance in the final has had over 2.7 million views on YouTube, and his subsequent concert in Warsaw sold out in under four minutes. He plays Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 2, notable for its gorgeous lyrical second movement with solo violin and cello interweaving their melodies with the piano, and its brilliant, exuberant finale. 

Tchaikovsky described his final symphony as “the best thing I have composed or will ever compose”. To many listeners it encompasses hope and despair, joy and heartbreak, life and death. At the height of his powers, Tchaikovsky overturned many of the conventions of the symphony. The second movement, which at first sounds like a graceful waltz, in fact has an unsettling five beats in a bar; the third ends with a blaze of brass and percussion which would have made the perfect triumphant finale; and the actual finale ends with a devastating descent into silence. 

Emotions run high, too, in Francesca da Rimini, inspired by a scene from Dante’s Inferno. Tchaikovsky throws everything the orchestra has got at this terrifying tale of adultery, murder and damnation – his fellow-composer Saint-Saëns said “in it, the gentlest and most kindly of men has unleashed a fearful tempest.” 

This concert was originally advertised with Nobuyuki Tsujii playing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Unfortunately he is unable to join us due to Covid travel restrictions. We are grateful to Bruce Liu for stepping in.

Please note that due to the change of programme, this concert will end approx. 20min later than originally advertised.

Need to know

Prices & Discounts

£13 – £65

Multi-buy offer available; under-18s and concessions discounts available

Student tickets


Available through Student Pulse.
Limited availability.

Running time:

2h 30 minutes, including a 25 minute interval

Recommended age

From 7+

Programme notes

Download the digital programme here. Free printed programmes will also be available on the evening.

Box office

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

Before the concert


Royal Festival Hall

Royal Festival Hall

Southbank Centre
Belvedere Road

View on Google Maps

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