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The Glasshouse



Philharmonia Orchestra Sibelius' Fifth Symphony


Philharmonia Orchestra Sibelius' Fifth Symphony

Part of Classical 2023/24


Radiance. Romance. Spot the swans.

Who’s on stage

The Philharmonia orchestra, direct from their home at London’s Royal Festival Hall. They’re led by their conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali, or ‘Santtu’ for short, as well as guest pianist Bruce Lui.

What they’re playing

We’ve two pieces that remind you of the natural world – Carl Nielsen’s gentle depiction of a radiant sunrise and Jean Sibelius’ Fifth Symphony, plus Sergei Rachmaninov’s mighty second piano concerto.

Need to know

Price: £19 – £46

Running time: 1 hour 45 minutes, including a 20 minute interval.

Discounts: Save if you’re local, unemployed, a first timer.

Age: Under 14s must be accompanied by an adult.

Concert programmes: download your free PDF programme.

What you'll hear

Carl Nielson Helios Overture (12’)
Sergei Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 (33’)
Jean Sibelius Symphony No. 5 (30’) 

Who's playing

Santtu-Matias Rouvali conductor
Bruce Liu piano
Philharmonia Orchestra

What's happening in the music

Sibelius Fifth Symphony, probably his most popular, is a musical picture of the vast open spaces of the Scandinavian landscape, complete with a musical description of swans taking off towards the end. Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto is a passionate, brooding and moving masterpiece composed as Rachmaninov recovered from severe depression.

Where you’ve heard it before

You’ll probably recognize Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto from the 1945 film Brief Encounter, directed by David Lean and based on the Noel Coward play.  The film is about two star-crossed lovers who meet by chance at a railway station. The emotional piece is used by the director to show the passions of the lovers and how they are truly feeling.

Take a listen

Hear Rachmaninov play his own piano concerto.

Your Visit