classical music
classical music

John Wilson - Gershwin & Walton

Part of Piano Masterworks

John Wilson conducts the Philharmonia in a jazz-infused transatlantic journey, bringing together music by George Gershwin and William Walton.

Gershwin saw no reason to separate that music into boxes labelled ‘classical’ or ‘jazz’, and his Piano Concerto is a masterful fusion of these two musical languages.

The lively syncopations of Charleston open the first movement, while the second features a languorous, bluesy trumpet solo accompanied by three clarinets.

Gershwin described the third movement as ‘an orgy of rhythms’. Its catchy energy belies the virtuosity it demands of every member of the orchestra, not just the soloist.

After a quintessentially American concerto comes one of the most enduringly popular British symphonies.

William Walton’s First Symphony is a work of great power, conjuring up vast landscapes tinged with the dark undercurrents of the interwar years.

A critic for the News Chronicle described the reception of the work’s premiere: ‘The applause at the close was overwhelming, and when Mr Walton, a slim, shy young man, came onto the platform he was cheered continuously for five minutes.’

John Wilson, a champion of British and American music ranging from Broadway songs and Hollywood soundtracks to the symphonic repertoire, and Louis Schwizgebel, a young pianist of ‘considerable virtuosity’ (Bachtrack), are the perfect advocates for this vivid programme.

When I'm in my normal mood, music drips from my fingers
George Gershwin


Philharmonia Orchestra
John Wilson conductor
Louis Schwizgebel piano


RR Bennett: Celebration
Gershwin: Piano Concerto
Walton: Symphony No.1

Dates & times

This event has passed.


Royal Festival Hall


£12 - £58
Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)

Multi-buy discount

£12, £19, £28, £36, £45, £58

Multi-buy discount
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). Events must be in the 2018/19 season. This discount is not available on Premium seats.


25% off (limited availability)
Find out more about our Concessions policy

need to know

Related events
Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall at 6pm: Music of Today pre-concert performance. Free but ticketed.

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:
Brian Tyler Returns – Live in Concert (25 Oct 2018), Philharmonia Orchestra – Christmas with King's College Choir (13 Dec 2018), Philharmonia Orchestra – Christmas at the Movies (16 Dec 2018), Valentine’s Day Gala (14 Feb 2019).