Skip to main content

The Glasshouse



Big Bruckner Weekend

Big Bruckner Weekend

Big Bruckner Weekend

Part of Classical 2023/24


Price: £20 - £65

Bold. Brassy. More peaks than the highlands.

Musical Marmite – that’s what Anton Bruckner is. His music splits opinion like no other composer. Loads of people find his epic symphonies direct, powerful and awe-inspiring. But for others – it leaves them cold, they need a bit more delicacy, more refinement maybe.

Make your own mind up at our Big Bruckner Weekend.

Need to know


  • Single concert: £20
  • Day pass (Saturday): £35 (2 concerts)
  • ‘Bar 5’ 18-30s: £5 (single concert)

Age: Under 14s must be accompanied by an adult 

John Suchet Latest from Felix 17-01-13CLASSIC 2


We are delighted to welcome Classic FM’s John Suchet to The Glasshouse as part of the Big Bruckner Weekend line up.

Bruckner fan John will compère the weekend and will give a selection of talks and thoughts across the three days.

He had this to say about joining us:

“I am honoured and thrilled to be presenting the Big Bruckner Weekend at The Glasshouse. Here is a composer who has lived for too long in the shadow of his great contemporaries, and whose moment has come, as we look forward to the 200th anniversary of his birth next September. The original creator of the wall of sound, to hear his three final symphonies performed by three of the country’s finest orchestras, as well as the Great Mass and choral works, will be a unique opportunity to immerse ourselves in some of the most magnificent music ever written.”

What you'll hear and who's playing

Friday 1 March, 7.30pm
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra: Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony

Domingo Hindoyan conductor

Anton Bruckner Symphony No. 7

Pre-concert performance of selected motets by Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia at 6.40pm. 

Post show talk with John Suchet and Domingo Hindoyan.

Saturday 2 March, 3pm
Bruckner’s ‘Great’ Mass

Royal Northern Sinfonia
Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia
Durham University Choral Society
Thomas Zehetmair conductor
Elizabeth Watts soprano
Hannah Hipp mezzo-soprano
James Ley tenor
Mark Stone baritone

Anton Bruckner Mass No. 3 ‘Great’

Saturday 2 March, 7.30pm
The Hallé: Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony

Sir Mark Elder conductor

Anton Bruckner Symphony No. 8

Pre-concert performance of selected motets by Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia at 6.40pm. 

Post show talk with John Suchet and Sir Mark Elder.

Sunday 3 March, 11am
Bruckner’s String Quintet

Royal Northern Sinfonia

Anton Bruckner String Quintet

Post show talk with John Suchet, Julian Horton and Katherine Hambridge.

Sunday 3 March, 3pm
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra: Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony

Alpesh Chauhan conductor

Anton Bruckner Symphony No. 9

Pre-concert performance of selected motets by Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia at 2.10pm. 

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra: Bruckner's Seventh Symphony

Friday 1 March | 7.30pm


Mystical. Powerful. Awe Inspiring.

Who’s on stage
Making their second trip to see us this season, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

What they’re playing
Just one piece, Anton Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony – one of the pieces that has really made his name.

Book Now 

Show More

What’s going on in the music
Bruckner’s music is known for its scale. Its got broad brush strokes of sound rather than delicate detail. And that’s true here, but there’s also tenderness and emotion in this symphony, as this music was composed as a tribute to one of Bruckner’s musical heroes, fellow composer Richard Wagner.

French Horns x Trombones
Richard Wagner, as well as being a massive successful composer, also invented an instrument, the Wagner Tuba. It’s a cross between French Horn and Trombone and he developed it specifically to suit his music. As this symphony is a tribute to him, Bruckner decided to feature them – listen out for their mellow sound in the symphony’s sombre slow section.

Bruckner's 'Great' Mass

Saturday 2 March | 3pm


Mighty. Monumental. Life-Affirming.

Who’s on stage
Our very own Royal Northern Sinfonia make their contribution to the Big Bruckner Weekend in this concert, together with a line up of top vocal soloists.

What they’re playing
Anton Bruckner’s not known for doing things by halves, so there’s just one epic piece on the programme – his Mass No.3, called the ‘Great’, which brings together orchestra, 4 soloists and choir.

Book Now 

Show More

What’s going on in the music
Bruckner faced some serious health challenges in 1867, with his fragile mental health leading to a nervous breakdown. Following a three month long recovery period Bruckner composed this piece in thanksgiving – a celebration of life and vitality but with a strong religious and mystical dimension.

It had its detractors…and fans.
Conductor Johann Herbeck said it was ‘too long and unsingable”. Composer Johannes Brahms on the other hand was seen applauding enthusiastically when he heard it in 1893. You’ll have to be there to make your own mind up.

If at first you don’t succeed
Bruckner liked to tinker with his music. Over and over again. He finished the piece in 1868 but came back to it several times to make changes – in 1876, 1877, 1881 and then several times in the period 1890-1893. In 1894 we guess he was finally happy with it.

The Hallé : Bruckner's Eighth Symphony

Saturday 2 March | 7.30pm

The Halle

Dark. Dazzling. Not for the faint hearted.

Who’s on stage
Our friends the Hallé orchestra from Manchester, bringing their full-size symphonic power, along with their Music Director Sir Mark Elder. Sir Mark is stepping down from his role in June 2024, so this might be one of the last chances to see this dream musical partnership in action.

What they’re playing
Anton Bruckner’s last finished symphony, Number 8.

Book Now 

Show More

What’s going on in the music
This epic piece of music starts, like much of Bruckner’s music, with delicate shimmering strings, with the music growing out of almost nothing. It goes on to deliver nothing less than the triumph of light over darkness. Bruckner was so happy with the ending that he said “Hallelujah!… The Finale is the most significant movement of my life.” Expect dark, dazzling and dramatic music that keeps you on the edge of your seat, wondering what’s coming next.

It divided the audience
Bruckner’s music provokes strong opinions. At the premiere one critic left early (maybe he had a Metro to catch), but he still managed to say “some interesting passages, flashes of genius, shine through – if only the rest of it was not there!”. Bruckner in response said it was just as well he didn’t stay to the end as he’d only have got angrier…

The long and short of it
Bruckner cut the music to shorten the symphony after its first performance. But conductors can still take their time over it. The piece is generally about 70-80 minutes long, but conductor Sergiu Celibidache manages to stretch it out to an hour and forty minutes! We’re expecting a more punctual performance tonight though.

Bruckner's String Quintet

Sunday 3 March | 11am 

RNS Quartet

Lush. Lively. Big ideas, small scale.

Who’s on stage
Five musicians from our very own Royal Northern Sinfonia.

What they’re playing
Anton Bruckner’s String Quintet, written for just 5 instruments, showing he could do small scale as well as his better known huge symphonies.

Book Now

Show More

What’s going on in the music.
This is a chance to experience a different side of Bruckner’s famously BIG musical personality. With the String Quintet he proved he could do small and intimate too. Despite there being only 5 musicians it’s got all the energy and colour of his symphonies, plus lush harmonies and energetic tunes that sound like they’re inspired by folk music.

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra: Bruckner's Ninth Symphony

Sunday 3 March | 3pm 

BBC SSO Players Group portrait

Spiritual. Raw. A declaration of faith.

Who’s on stage
Special guests direct from Glasgow, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

What they’re playing
The last notes Anton Bruckner ever wrote – the unfinished Symphony No.9

Book Now 

Show More

What’s going on in the music
Even though it’s lacking its final part, this symphony is still a pretty incredible summing up of Bruckner’s musical life. It’s an emotional declaration of the composers faith, which he expresses via gorgeous textures and sounds in the music. And while its very beautiful there’s darkness too. Some people even find parts of the music quite scary. It’s raw and doesn’t hold back.

Solemn mystery
Bruckner did a pretty good job of summing up what the piece was all about when he wrote these words at the top of the music, giving musicians and indication of how it should be played.

Dine with us web button

Fresh, exciting new menus every time you dine.

Book your table in our Restaurant and make a night of it.

Save me a table

Your visit