With February now fast approaching, we take a look at what The Halle will be performing at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall in February.

Saturday 2 February, 7.30pm
The Magical Music of Harry Potter
Conductor: Stephen Bell; Presenter: Sarah Day-Smith; featuring Hallé Youth Choir and Hallé Youth Training Choir (boys)
The Halle celebrates the story of the most famous wizard in the world through the phenomenal music of John Williams, Patrick Doyle, Nicholas Hooper and Alexandre Desplat. From Hedwig’s Theme to Quidditch, Dobby the House Elf and Aunt Marge’s Waltz to The Death of Cedric, The Weasley Stomp and Lily’s Theme, the iconic music of the astonishingly successful Harry Potter films has delighted generations of wizards and muggles for more than eighteen years.

Sunday 10 February, 5pm
The Damnation of Faust
Conductor: Sir Mark Elder Conductor; featuring David Butt Philip Tenor (Faust); Rinat Shaham Mezzo-soprano (Marguerite); David Soar Bass (Brander); Laurent Naouri Bass-baritone (Méphistophélès); the Hallé Choir; the Hallé Children’s Choir; and Trebles of the Hallé Youth Training Choir
Shakespeare and Goethe: the silent confidants of my torments; they hold the key to my life,’ Berlioz wrote in 1828 when he came to Goethe via a French translation. The Damnation of Faust is central to Berlioz’s creative personality, and Sir Mark Elder has assembled an appropriately stellar cast alongside massed choirs from the Hallé. In Berlioz’s graphic version of the legend, Faust, having sold his soul to Méphistophélès in exchange for eternal youth, is led by the nose through temptation, seduction, betrayal, humiliation and a terrifying ride into his inevitable damnation. Berlioz invested all his incredible talent for narrative in what he described as a ‘kind of opera’.

Thursday 14 February, 7.30pm
Sunday 17 February, 7.30pm
Wednesday 20 February, 2.15pm
Falla El amor brujo
Mozart Clarinet Concerto in A
Beethoven Symphony No.7
Conductor: Carlos Miguel Prieto; featuring Sergio Castelló López (Clarinet)
The Hallé’s Principal Clarinet Sergio Castelló López is the soloist in Mozart’s serene concerto. It was written for Anton Stadler, hugely respected despite Mozart’s nickname for him: ‘old redcurrant face’. The concerto was tailored to exploit Stadler’s virtuosity, celebrated singing tone and love of the instrument’s rich lower register. Carlos Miguel Prieto brings his panache to bear on Beethoven’s exhilarating Seventh Symphony, a work described by Wagner as ‘the apotheosis of the dance’. The concert opens with Falla’s remarkably beautiful El amor brujo.

Thursday 28 February 2018, 7.30pm
Mozart Symphony No.31, ‘Paris’
World Premiere of John Casken Madonna of Silence (trombone concerto)
Prokofiev Symphony No.5
Conductor: Jamie Phillips; featuring Katy Jones (Trombone)
Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony was born in the closing months of the Second World War, yet it captures the optimism and the dynamism of the Soviet industrial age. The composer’s enormous gift for melody and colour is as apparent in this wonderful symphony as in his ballet scores, Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella. Following the successful premiere of John Casken’s Oboe Concerto in 2014, the series of commissions for Hallé wind soloists continues with Madonna of Silence, written for the Hallé’s Principal Trombone, Katy Jones. John Casken’s craftsmanship, musical imagination and mastery of instrumental writing will doubtlessly thrill and inspire. Jamie Phillips, a former Hallé Assistant Conductor, opens proceedings with Mozart’s ebullient ‘Paris’ Symphony.

Pre-concert event 6:30pm (free to concert ticket holders)
John Summers, Hallé Chief Executive, is joined by composer John Casken to talk about the evening’s world premiere Madonna of Silence

image of The Halle courtesy Russel Hart