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Sheku Kanneh-Mason plays Bloch | Philharmonia Orchestra

Sunday February 26, 2023 at 15:00
Royal Festival Hall, London
£20-£75; multi-buy offer available; under 18s and concessions discounts available; discounted tickets for students via Student Pulse (limited availability)
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  1. Excerpts, from Romeo et Juliette Op 17 - Hector Berlioz
  2. Schelomo, for cello and orchestra - Ernest Bloch
  3. Symphony No 1 in E minor Op 39 - Jean Sibelius

Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, our Featured Artist this season, returns as the soloist in Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo.

The cello represents the biblical King Solomon – his greatness and glory, but also his despair at the worldliness and vanity that surround him. Exploring his own Jewish identity through music, Bloch explained that rather than using traditional Jewish melodies, “I have listened to an inner voice, deep, secret, insistent.”

Hector Berlioz composed his Roméo et Juliette after watching a British production of Shakespeare’s play in Paris. In his Memoirs he singled out the Adagio, his interpretation of the balcony love scene, as his favourite passage of his own music. He also admitted: “The work is enormously difficult to perform. To be done well, it needs first-rate performers.” Our fantastic musicians are more than equal to the task.

Jukka-Pekka Saraste completes this afternoon’s programme with the First Symphony by his fellow Finn Jean Sibelius. From its haunting opening clarinet solo to the intense energy of the finale, this piece is a favourite with many Sibelius fans. And it’s a perfect introduction to his distinctive voice for anyone new to his music.

Royal Festival Hall
Belvedere Road

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