- Joséphine Gambade
The beginning of the new year in London promises to be fairly memorable as far as classical music is concerned. Home to the prestigious Philharmonic Orchestra, London also hosts musicians from all around the world in its various music halls, and operas for the pleasure of tourists and Londoners alike. Here are the top ten must-see classical concerts in 2015.
Susan Bullock sings Wagner with Forest Philharmonic
On the 8th of February, it is recommended to come and attend the world-renowned dramatic soprano Susan Bullock CBE’s performance at the Walthamstow Assembly Hall with the Forest Philharmonic Orchestra. Last seen at the closing ceremony of the London Olympic Games 2012, she will be singing Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde as well as one her most famous solos from Gotterdämmerung,— ‘Brünnhilde’s Immolation’ — under the direction of Mark Shanahan, To top this up, the tickets are very reasonably priced and can be pre-ordered online.
St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra with Natalie Clein
It would be a shame to miss out on this performance of the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra in Cardogan Hall on the evening of 9th of February. Alexander Dmitriev as a conductor of, amongst others, one of the greatest cello concerto – Saint-Saëns Concerto n°1 – will be working in tandem with the British award-winning cellist Natalie Clein, whose latest performances have been more than memorable. The orchestra will also be delivering a performance of Tchaikovsky’s sixth and final symphony, released only a few days before his death.
Stravinsky and Rachmaninoff | London Philharmonic Orchestra
Any classical music lover should rush to the opportunity to attend this three-piece concert of music by Stravinsky and Rachaminoff on February 11th. Featured amongst their singers are the ‘wunderkind’ tenor Daniil Shtoda, and Ukrainian baritone Andrei Bondarenko. Conducted by Vasily Petrenko, well-known Russian conductor of the Liverpool Royal Orchestra, the night promises to deliver one of this season’s finest performances by the London Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the London Philharmonic Choir, for tickets that do not exceed £70!
Royal Festival Hall London SE1 8XX, United Kingdom +44(0)2079210943
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra will be returning to London for the first time in ten years with this end of February performance at the Cadogan Hall. Led by one of the most sought-after conductors, Jaap van Zweden, and featuring as a first violin the talented Ning Feng, the evening’s repertoire includes Fung Lam’s Quintessence (the European Premiere), Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, as well as Prokofiev Symphony No. 5. The first-class tickets being only £40, this performance is highly recommended for all amateurs and connoisseurs of classical music.
Camerata Salzburg with Nicola Benedetti
As part of their Zurich International Orchestra Series, Cadogan Hall will once more host an exceptional Orchestra, the Camerata Salzburg, which will be accompanied by the young Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti – the latter was amongst the recipients of the prize given for Best Female Artist of 2012. In a series of Concertos by Mozart, Bartòk, and Bruckner, the newly discovered and very promising Ben Gernon promises to conduct this March the ensemble swiftly through the five classic pieces, rendering this show one of the must-sees of this year’s first few months.
Rosenblatt Recitals with Ben Johnson and James Baillieu
Winner of the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Audience Prize, tenor Ben Johnson will the be the guest of honour at the Rosenblatt recitals this April. The performance, happening at Wigmore Hall, includes pieces by Tosti, Parry, and Stanford. Accompanied on the piano by James Baillieu, a leader in his generation of accompanists, this performance’s tickets are a mere £30, accessible to all those wishing to spend an evening in musical bliss.
Wigmore Hall London W1U 2BP, United Kingdom +44(0)207258820
Nicola Benedetti, Leonard Elschenbroich, and Alexei Grynyuk
We advise you to go to the Royal Over-Seas League on the 8th May for what is sure to be an incredible performance by the award-winning Scottish violinist, Nicola Benedetti, the German cellist “star in the making”, Leonard Elschenbroich, and the Ukrainian child star, pianist Alexei Grynyuk. These award-winning musicians will be presenting three pieces from amongst the greatest composers of history – Franz Schubert, Arlene Sierra, and Johannes Brahms, for a night of not-so-pricy – about £20 a ticket – musical delight.
The Hattori Foundation Recital – Mei Yi Foo
The uniquely prestigious 1901 art club in the center of London will be hosting pianist Mei Yi Foo on the 14th of May, in honour of the Hattori Foundation recital series. This is an opportunity to see the soon-to-be international young artist in a more private atmosphere. As the winner of the Best Newcomer of the year Award 2013, as well as the composer of an award-winning album, the Malaysian concert artist will be performing for £15 in one of the most iconic locations for central London’s performing scene.
Jozef Kapustka’s free recital at St Olave’s Church
The polish pianist Jozef Kapustka will be giving a free piano recital at St Olave’s Church – one of London’s most popular concert venues – on the 10th of June, at 1pm. Famous for his mesmerising improvisation technique, the Parisian artist will be performing three of his compositions in the traditional lunchtime recitals of the small church, in an ideal venue for anyone who wishes to discover classical music in a smaller atmosphere, as well as for connoisseurs eager to look at the upcoming artists.
Ashley Wass’s recital at the Royal Over-seas League
On the evening of the 1st July, Ashley Wass, will be performing three wonderful pieces by Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, and Samuel Barber. The only British Winner of the London International Piano Competition and Gold Medalist at the Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition will be giving a concert at the Royal Over-Seas League, of which the agenda reflects his renowned talent at maintaining a broad and varied repertoire. This rather pricy opportunity seems however to be one of the last of its kind in the city, as the British pianist is being pressed to enter the international scene.
By Josephine Gambade