Thursday 19 March, 7.30pm
Thursday Series

Shostakovich Cello Concerto No.2
Mahler Symphony No.5

Sir Mark Elder conductor | Alisa Weilerstein cello

Few cellists could be more suited to the broad expressive palette of Shostakovich’s Second Concerto than the young American Alisa Weilerstein, winner of the BBC Music Magazine Recording of the Year 2014. More intimate and enigmatic than its predecessor, the piece is full of beautiful and engaging ideas, all of which are organised with quite remarkable invention. Like the Shostakovich, Mahler’s extraordinary Fifth Symphony was written while its composer was recovering from a potentially fatal health condition. Its ravishing slow movement – the musical backdrop to Luchino Visconti’s classic film Death in Venice – was an extended love song to Mahler’s new wife Alma. And though it opens with a sombre (and at times quite terrifying) Funeral March, the symphony’s ultimate message is unmistakably hopeful and life-affirming.

Pre-concert event at 6.30pm

Tickets from £13 (including £2 booking fee)
Box Office 0161 907 9000
PwC under 26 tickets available
£5 student tickets available


Saturday 21 March, 7.30pm
Pops: Movie Classics

BBC presenter Petroc Trelawny and soprano Sarah Fox make very welcome returns to the Hallé for a night of Movie Classics. Behind the on screen action, music plays a crucial role in bringing the story to life. This concert brings together some of the most memorable moments.

The programme includes:
R. Strauss Also sprach Zarathustra (2001 – A Space Odyssey)
Dvoˇrák Rusalka: Song to the Moon (Driving Miss Daisy)
Sibelius Finlandia (Die Hard 2)
Mahler Symphony No.5: Adagietto (Death In Venice)
Puccini O mio babbino caro (A Room With A View)
Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony: Finale (Babe)
Wagner Ride Of The Valkyries (Apocalypse Now)
J. Strauss II On the Beautiful Blue Danube Waltz (2001 – A Space Odyssey)
Albinoni Adagio (Gallipoli)
Shostakovich Jazz Suite No.2: Waltz (Eyes Wide Shut)
Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 (Who Framed Roger Rabbit)

Stephen Bell conductor | Sarah Fox soprano | Petroc Trelawny presenter

Tickets from £19 (including £2 booking fee)
Box Office 0161 907 9000
PwC under 26 tickets available


Wednesday 25 March, 2.15pm
Thursday 26 and Sunday 29 March, 7.30pm
Opus One Concerts

Tchaikovsky Swan Lake: suite
Prokofiev Piano Concerto No.1
Sibelius Symphony No.1

Karl-Heinz Steffens conductor | Denis Kozhukhin piano

The extraordinary Denis Kozhukhin plays Prokofiev’s wonderfully iconoclastic and fiendishly virtuosic First Piano Concerto. After a performance of the work in 1914, an astonished listener described it as ‘young man’s music’ like ‘the onrushing forwards in my one unfortunate soccer experience’! However, its vigorous athleticism vies with passages of tender, Rachmaninov-like lyricism. Sibelius’s First Symphony owes much to the influence of Tchaikovsky, yet it remains an intensely personal and highly original statement. In turn haunting, stormy and passionate, it culminates in one of the most stirring ‘big tune’ finales in the repertoire. The concert opens with another wonderful treat: the richly melodic orchestral suite from Tchaikovsky’s beguiling ballet score Swan Lake.

Tickets from £13 (including £2 booking fee)
Box Office 0161 907 9000
PwC under 26 tickets available
£5 student tickets available for the Wednesday matinee and Sunday


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In Review: Olafur Arnalds at the Royal Northern College of Music
In Review: Mysterious 44 at the Halle St Peters

The Halle Orchestra.  Image credit to Russel Hart.