Classical music

Philharmonia Orchestra - Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique

Part of Classical Season

Paavo Järvi conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra performing Berlioz’ psychedelic Symphonie fantastique and Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

Dukas’ magical tale of a wayward sorcerer’s apprentice leads into Rachmaninov’s dazzling Third Piano Concerto.

Beginning slowly, creeping through a winding folk-like melody, the Concerto speeds into glittering cadenzas, a sparkling waltz and dizzying variations before reaching an astoundingly acrobatic coda.

Finally, Berlioz’ psychedelic Symphonie fantastique is a fantastical account of an artist and his great love, a thinly veiled allegory for his own relationship with actress Harriet Smithson.

Triggered by the protagonist’s near opium overdose, the music journeys through five scenes: the first, detailing his passion upon catching a glimpse of the woman of his dreams, introduced by a longing, later recurring theme or idée fixe in the flute and strings; the second a spinning ballroom; the third a day in the countryside; witnessing his own execution in the fourth; and finally, a riotous witches Sabbath.


Philharmonia Orchestra
Paavo Järvi conductor
Khatia Buniatishvili piano


Dukas: The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.3
Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique

Dates & times

3 Jun 2018
Approximate run time: 150 mins


Royal Festival Hall


£11 - £55
Booking fee: £1.75 (Members £0.00)
£11, £18, £27, £35, £42, £55


50% off (limited availability)
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need to know

Related events
Royal Festival Hall at 6pm: pre-concert event. A performance by the Philharmonia Chamber Players. Admission free.

Book multiple Philharmonia Orchestra events in the same transaction and receive a discount.

3 – 5 events (10% discount)
6 – 8 events (15% discount)
9 – 11 events (20% discount)
12 – 14 events (25% discount)
15 or more events (30% discount)

These discounts are not available on Premium seats or for the following concerts: Christmas Classics (10 Dec 2017) and December Carols at Christmas (14 Dec 2017).

before & after

Exterior view of Giraffe restaurant at the Southbank Centre
Giraffe's all about freshly cooked food served to the sound of great music
EAT Cafe at the Southbank
EAT. creates, makes and serves fresh food to go including soups, hot pots, salads and sandwiches