Tuesday 11 April
The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2017-2018 season, the twelfth under the baton of Chief Conductor, Vasily Petrenko, and the Orchestra’s 177th season since its founding in 1840, features compelling orchestral and choral music from across the classical repertoire and new music from some of today’s leading composers.
Two major themes in the season are From the New World and The Art of the Piano. The former features music by American composers, as well as European composers influenced by America or who emigrated there to save their personal and creative existence. The latter explores the huge range of musical styles inspired by the world’s favourite instrument, played by some of the most prominent artists of our day.
Petrenko and the Orchestra showcase their acclaimed music partnership in a wide range of repertoire, with Petrenko’s opening concerts of the season featuring their signature surveys of Russian music and an exploration of the ‘New World’ theme. Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony (21 & 22 September) is paired with Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, written in the New World, and performed for the first time in Liverpool by young Russian cellist, Alexey Stadler, who made a sensational debut with Petrenko and the Orchestra as a last-minute replacement at the BBC Proms 2016.
The 8oth Birthday of Philip Glass, a composer who defines our age, is celebrated with the UK Premiere in Liverpool of his Eleventh Symphony in a concert that includes Dvořák’s American Suite, and a rare performance of Scriabin’s Second Symphony (28 September). And Petrenko conducts Stravinsky’s revolutionary ballet, The Firebird (original version, 1910) in a concert that includes music by Korngold, Delius and Respighi (5 October).
In other concerts, Petrenko leads the Orchestra in Messiaen’s Turangiliîa (25 January), the first time the Orchestra has performed it this millennium. The wonderful violinist Julian Rachlin returns to Liverpool to perform Brahms’s Violin Concerto in two concerts that include music by Weber and Elgar’s Enigma Variations (18 & 19 January).
Vasily Petrenko and the Orchestra have recorded all Tchaikovsky’s symphonies in two volumes to critical acclaim. They’ll perform the composer’s Fourth Symphony in a concert joined by the wonderfully expressive Japanese pianist Nobujuki Tsujii who’ll play Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (1 February). The concert is repeated (4 February) this time with Nobu performing Grieg’s Piano Concerto. And Petrenko and the Orchestra join forces with Artist in Residence Stephen Hough in performances of Beethoven’s First (22 March) and Second Piano Concertos (25 March) alongside music by Mozart and Debussy.
Nobujuki Tsujii returns to Liverpool in the Spring to perform Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto, in two concerts where Petrenko wields the baton in Shostakovich’s shattering Symphony No. 5 (26 & 27 April).
Liverpool Philharmonic Artists in Residence
Liverpool Philharmonic is delighted to announce Sir Bryn Terfel and pianist Stephen Hough as Artists in Residence for the 2017/18 season.
Following his sold-out residency in 2013, Sir Bryn’s residency in 2017 is 10 days of extraordinary music-making in collaboration with Vasily Petrenko. Terfel will star in two of Verdi’s masterpieces: the dramatic Requiem (19 November) with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir and a cast of international singers; and his final opera, Falstaff (24 & 26 November) when the Welsh bass-baritone superstar will reprise his signature role of Sir John Falstaff, with guest artists including young singers from the Liverpool-based European Opera Centre. For A Night at the Musicals (29 November), Sir Bryn makes a guest appearance as West End and Broadway star, Ruthie Henshall and the Orchestra, conducted by Paul Bateman, perform songs from the shows.
As part of the focus on the piano in the 2017/18 season, Wirral-born Stephen Hough’s residency commences in March, and the consummate soloist and chamber musician will perform all five Beethoven Piano Concertos in chronological order (22 March, 25 March, 31 May, 3 June, 7 June). Stephen will give a chamber music concert with musicians from the Orchestra (4 June) and a solo piano recital (5 June) and he’ll share his passion and musical knowledge in talks and discussions.
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir
The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir, under the tutelage of Chorus Master Ian Tracey has another busy and challenging season. Highlights include Holst’s The Planets (Ladies only, 19 & 22 September); Verdi’s Requiem with Sir Bryn Terfel (19 November); Handel’s Messiah (6 January), Mozart’s Requiem (3 March); an Eastertide concert that includes Brahms’s Alto Rhapsody and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms (28 March); Orff’s Carmina Burana and Holst’s Ode to Death (Ladies only, 7 June).
The Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Choir joins the Choir for their annual Spirit of Christmas celebration, presented by Classic FM’s John Suchet (16, 17, 19, 21, 22 and 23 December).
Liverpool Philharmonic continues look to the future, commissioning and presenting new works from leading composers for our ensembles. Along with the UK premiere of the Philip Glass Eleventh Symphony marking the composer’s 80th Birthday; the Orchestra gives the UK premiere of Aaron Jay Kernis’s Legacy for Solo Horn, Harp, Percussion and Strings performed by the Orchestra’s Principal Horn, Timothy Jackson in a concert including Bernstein’s Suite, On the Waterfront and Holst’s The Planets (19 October). Pianist Julian Joseph makes his Liverpool Philharmonic debut as both composer and soloist with the performance of his Symphonic Stories, Suite for Piano and Orchestra (3 May). The concert includes Liverpool composer Gary Carpenter’s Set for Saxophone and Orchestra (supported by Resonate, a PRS Foundation for Music initiative in partnership with the Association of British Orchestra, BBC Radio 3 and the Boltini Trust) and music by Duke Ellington and Gershwin.
Liverpool composer Stephen Pratt, who has enjoyed a long association with the Orchestra enjoys a 70th birthday treat with the world premiere of his latest work, Symphonies of Time and Tide (18 January). The Orchestra’s new music group, Ensemble 10/10, perform two concerts in the season (11 October and 28 February).
Must See Artists and Rising Stars
Liverpool Philharmonic welcomes back the Orchestra’s Conductor Emeritus Sir Andrew Davis who leads a concert including Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, From the New World alongside music by Sousa, Ives, Weill, Gershwin and Bernstein (16 September).
Other distinguished conductors appearing in the season include Andrew Manze who leads three programmes which range from Sibelius’s Second Symphony and the Brahms Piano Concerto with Marc-Andre Hamelin (11 & 12 January) to Vaughan Williams’s Seventh Symphony and Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto with Stephen Hough (7 June). Joshua Weilerstein takes up the baton for Mahler’s First Symphony; Anna Tsybuleva is the soloist in Schumann’s dreamy Piano Concerto (15 & 16 March). Nathalie Stutzmann conducts the Orchestra in music by Verdi, Wagner, Brahms, and shares the spotlight with the Orchestra’s joint leader, Thelma Handy in Dvořák’s Romance for Violin and Orchestra; and Liverpool Philharmonic welcomes Carlos Miguel Prieto, Elim Chan, Nicholas Kraemer, Christian Lindberg, Maxime Tortelier and Long Yu.
Pianists Boris Giltburg, Julian Joseph, Stephen Osborne, Francesco Tristano, Zhang Zou, and Khatia and Gvantsa Buniatishvilli performing Bartók’s Concerto for Two Pianos, Percussion and Orchestra (22 February); violinists include James Ehnes, Henning Kraggerud, and cellists Narek Hakhnazaryan and Pablo Fernandez. A cast of international singers feature in the major choral works performed during the 2017/18 season.
On the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic’s 2017/18 season, Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko said:
‘Our new season, as always, is a collaboration, between myself and my colleagues at Liverpool Philharmonic, and the artists and ensembles we look forward to welcoming to the city. We’re delighted to welcome Sir Bryn Terfel and Stephen Hough back to Liverpool as our Artists in Residence, along with the many other superb guest artists who we’ll be sharing the stage with. Our Orchestra is fantastic in anything they take on, and we’re looking forward to rehearsing and performing together and sharing more great music with our audiences.’
Liverpool Philharmonic’s chamber series in the city’s St. George’s Hall Concert Room features performances by some of the world’s finest chamber ensembles and recital artists including Stephen Hough as part of his residency, Red Priest: Gypsy Baroque Fantasy, Zen Trio, Diotima and Pavel Haas Quartets, Stile Antico, Marc-Andre Hamelin (piano), Khatia Buniatishvili (piano), Roderick Williams (baritone) and Iain Burnside (piano).
The informal, intimate setting of Music Room, the smaller-scale performance space which opened in 2015, built as part of the major refurbishment of the Grade II* listed Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, is the setting for both Liverpool Philharmonic’s Close Up and June Lunchtime Concerts series. Both feature performances by ensembles of musicians from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and a number of visiting artists who are in Liverpool to perform in the main concert series. In the 2017/18 season, visiting artists performing in the Close Up series include Jesűs León (tenor and guitar, 18 December), Nathalie Forget (26 January, ondes martenot), Piano Circus (9 April) and pianists Francesco Tristano (20 April) and Stephen Hough (4 June).
Classic FM 25th Anniversary, Films with Live Music and Concerts for all the family…
As Classic FM’s ‘Orchestra in the North West of England’ since 2001, and the station’s longest-established arts partner, Liverpool Philharmonic is delighted to be presenting Classic FM’s 25th anniversary concert in Liverpool, presented by Bill Turnbull (7 September).
Screenings of films with live orchestral accompaniment are hugely popular and in the 2017/18 season, Liverpool Philharmonic presents Casablanca (14 October), Back to the Future (30 December, 2 performances) and Vertigo (24 May).
Liverpool Philharmonic’s Family Concerts aim to provide children and adults with all of the sights and sounds of a full symphony orchestra. Performed on weekend afternoons and evenings, they are a great complement to the Orchestra’s annual School’s Concerts attended by close to 20,000 children from more than 200 schools across Liverpool and the North West. Family Concerts last around an hour, with plenty of familiar music designed to entertain and enthrall younger audiences. Among the eight Family Concerts this season are Spooktacular, Sing-Along with Santa, From Hamelin to Hogwarts and All Aboard the Pirate Ship. New this season, are a series of concerts especially designed for the Under 5s, and presented with musicians from the Orchestra, in the smaller setting of Music Room.