Classical music

Rouvali conducts Strauss

Part of Classical Season 2018/19

Principal Guest Conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali brings his ‘imaginative, often spectacular musicality’ (LA Times) to three Strauss masterpieces.

He opens with the suite from Der Rosenkavalier, an opera so successful that special trains ran from Berlin to Dresden to whisk audiences to its opening run.

The music paints vivid portraits of the four main characters – the Marschallin, Octavian, the young lover she knows she cannot keep, the graceful Sophie and the foolish Baron von Ochs – and their aristocratic world.

Composed when he was 84, Strauss’s late masterpiece, the Four Last Songs, speak of gratitude for a life well lived, the riches of creation, and the joy of human love.

Strauss wrote to soprano Kirsten Flagstad that his Four Last Songs ‘should be at your disposal for a world premiere… with a first-class conductor and orchestra’.

And it was with the Philharmonia Orchestra that she gave the first performance – acclaimed British soprano Sophie Bevan follows in her footsteps.

In the Alpine Symphony, Strauss calls upon a 125-player orchestra, including organ, cowbells and wind and thunder machines, to describe a day in the mountains.

Inspired by an expedition Strauss took part in aged 15, the piece vividly depicts dawn, rivers and meadows; a hunting party in the distance; the struggles of the climbers and triumph when they reach the summit; a storm as they descend; and the peaceful return of night.

Strauss wrote in his journal that for him the piece represented ‘the worship of eternal, magnificent nature’

imaginative, often spectacular musicality
LA Times


Philharmonia Orchestra
Santtu-Matias Rouvali conductor
Sophie Bevan soprano


R Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier Suite; Four Last Songs
R Strauss: An Alpine Symphony

Dates & times

6 Dec 2018
Approximate run time: 130 mins
Run times may vary, find out more


Royal Festival Hall


£12 - £58
Booking fee: £3.00 (Members £0.00)

Multi-buy discount

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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.


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need to know

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: Moscow Nights (25 Oct 2018), Philharmonia Orchestra – Christmas with King's College Choir (13 Dec 2018), Philharmonia Orchestra – Christmas at the Movies (16 Dec 2018), Philharmonia at the Movies (14 Feb 2019) and Music of Today: Wu Wei Artist Portrait (5 Apr 2019).