The Halle will be putting on a series of performances at the Bridgewater Hall in March, including performing an Elgar Festival from 9-12 March.

So, what’s on?

The Hallé’s Elgar Festival, 9 – 12 March 2017

Thursday 9 March, 7.30pm
Elgar’s Symphony No. 1
Elgar      Symphony No.1
Elgar      Overture: Froissart
Elgar      Grania and Diarmid: Incidental Music, Funeral March and ‘There are Seven’
Elgar      Pomp and Circumstance March No.3
Sir Mark Elder, Conductor
Madeleine Shaw, Mezzo-soprano
In the first concert of a three-part Elgar festival, master Elgarian Sir Mark explores different aspects of the composer’s complex musical personality. In December 1908 the Hallé gave the world premiere of Elgar’s First Symphony and ever since then this great work has retained a special place in the orchestra’s repertoire and affections. Inspired by the 14th-century Chronicles of Froissart, Elgar’s Overture was his first large-scale orchestral work, an elegant foretaste of the more expansive masterpieces to come. We also hear incidental music Elgar composed for Grania and Diarmid – a play by George Moore and W.B. Yeats based on a great heroic Irish legend – and the fiery and dramatic Pomp and Circumstance March No.3.
Tickets from £13.50 (Including booking fee)

Pre-concert Event, 6:30pm – with Sir Mark Elder and Peter Ainsworth
Sir Mark Elder and Peter Ainsworth, former Chair of the Elgar Foundation, discuss the seminal English composer Edward Elgar – the focus in this three-concert festival dedicated to his lasting influence – and his impact on the English musical landscape.
The pre-concert event will take place in the auditorium and is free for concert ticket holders.

Saturday 11 March, 7pm
Beyond the Score: Elgar’s Enigma Variations
Elgar Enigma Variations
Sir Mark Elder, Conductor
Gerard McBurney, Presenter
One evening Elgar sat down at his piano to improvise. ‘That’s a good tune’ said his wife Alice, ‘what is it?’ ‘Nothing yet’, replied Elgar, ‘but something might be made of it’. Elgar then continued improvising, imagining what his various friends would do with the tune. The affectionate and vivid series of musical sketches that resulted, the ‘Enigma’ Variations, was to change their lives.
Devised by former Hallé artistic advisor Gerard McBurney, ‘Beyond the Score’ is an accessible and entertaining way of learning more about Elgar’s masterpiece. Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé will be on stage throughout providing musical examples, complemented by actors playing Elgar’s friends and loved-ones and film on the Hallé big screen. After the interval, Sir Mark and the orchestra give a complete performance of the work.
The evening will give a fascinating insight into Elgar: the man himself, his wife and friends, his social milieu and of course, his great music.
Tickets from £13 (including booking fee)

Sunday 12 March 6.30pm
The Dream of Gerontius
Elgar The Dream of Gerontius
Sir Mark Elder, Conductor
David Butt Philip, Tenor | Sasha Cooke, Mezzo-soprano | Iain Paterson, Bass-baritone | Hallé Choir | Hallé Youth Choir
A setting of a poem by John Henry Newman, The Dream of Gerontius tells the story of a soul’s journey through death into purgatory with the promise of a final re-awakening to glory. Elgar’s remarkable score reflects an eclectic range of influences: Wagner, Verdi, Anglican and Catholic liturgical music. In its ‘Demons’ Chorus’ there are even echoes of the Victorian music-hall. Yet Elgar imposed on the work an extraordinary dramatic and musical unity that is unsurpassed in his choral output. Iain Paterson returns following his appearance in Das Rheingold earlier in the season, to sing the dual roles of the Priest and The Angel of the Agony; while two rising vocal stars, David Butt Philip and Sasha Cooke are Gerontius and The Angel respectively.
Tickets from £13.50 (including booking fee)


Saturday 18 March, 7.30pm
Oscars for Orchestra
Programme includes music from: Ben-Hur, Robin Hood, Born Free, E.T., Aladdin, Spectre, The Hateful Eight, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The King and I, Henry V
Stephen Bell Conductor
Tonight the real star of the movie world gets its chance to shine on The Bridgewater Hall stage as The Halle showcases the role of the orchestra in Oscar-winning films. It is the least temperamental of bit-part players, the most versatile – whether required to adopt the role of handsome hero or heart-broken heroine – the least egotistical and the most indispensable. No-one deserves an Oscar more than the orchestra. Roll out the red carpet!
Tickets from £13.50 (including booking fee)


Wednesday 22 March, 2.15pm; Thursday 23 March, 7.30pm; Sunday 26 March, 7.30pm
Opus One Concerts: Sibelius, Rachmaninov, Stravinsky
Sibelius                   En Saga
Rachmaninov      Piano Concerto No. 2
Stravinsky             The Firebird: Suite (1945)
Lahav Shani Conductor
Sofya Gulyak Piano
Prodigiously gifted young Israeli conductor Lahav Shani makes his Hallé debut alongside a Hallé favourite, Sofya Gulyak. She is soloist in Rachmaninov’s evocative Second Piano Concerto. It opens with bell-like tolling that heralds a succession of sweeping and very Russian melodies, the piano writing breathtakingly virtuosic throughout. Shani then conducts Stravinsky’s enchanting and equally melodious Firebird Suite. This musical version of a Russian fairy tale begins in darkness and ends in great triumph and jubilation.
Tickets from £13 (including booking fee)


Thursday 30 March, 7.30pm
Gershwin’s Piano Concerto
Revueltas          Sensemayá
Copland            El Salón México
Gershwin         Piano Concerto
Falla                   The Three Cornered Hat (complete ballet)
Carlos Miguel Prieto Conductor
Kathryn Stott, Piano | Michaela Parry, Mezzo-Soprano
A fascinating meeting of old world and new as Carlos Miguel Prieto conducts works from his native Mexico, the United States and from Spain. Our first dip into the melting-pot of the Americas brings the Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas evoking Afro-Caribbean ritual in Sensemayá. His highly original orchestral palette had impressed Copland, whose ‘El Salón México’ arose from his fascination with the country, its culture and its sound-world during the 1930s. Kathryn Stott makes a welcome return to the Hallé with Gershwin’s Piano Concerto. Written in the wake of Rhapsody in Blue, it embraces classical and jazz styles with sophisticated ease. Of all the great ballets to come out of Diaghilev’s stable, Falla’s masterly score to The Three Cornered Hat is one of the most colourful.
Tickets for £13.50 (including booking fee)

Pre-concert Event, 6.15pm – Hallé Youth Orchestra introduced by Jonathon Heyward
Meet Jonathon Heyward, the Hallé Youth Orchestra’s Music Director and the Hallé’s Assistant Conductor, as he presents the Youth Orchestra performing some of their work from the 2016-17 season. Jonathon offers his musical insights along with his thoughts on his first year as part of the Hallé family.
The pre-concert event will take place in the auditorium and is free for concert ticket holders.

The Halle Orchestra.  Image credit to Russel Hart.