Classical music

Rouvali conducts Strauss

Part of Women in Music at Southbank Centre

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

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Royal Festival Hall


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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).