classical music
classical music

Michael Tilson Thomas & the San Francisco Symphony

Part of Classical Season 2019/20

A soaring pianistic talent, Daniil Trifonov gives voice to nostalgic romance alongside a breakthrough masterpiece in this evening of heartstopping music.

Still in his twenties, Daniil Trifonov has been rapturously greeted as a thrilling presence on the international piano circuit.

Said to possess an ‘uncanny flair’ for Rachmaninov (The Financial Times) Trifonov dives in to a Concerto known for its spirit of adventure, absorbing the musical moods of its time from neoclassicism to jazz.

Led by Michael Tilson Thomas in his 25th and final season as Music Director, the San Francisco Symphony is a multi-awardwinning orchestra known for breathtaking interpretations of music from Mahler to John Adams.

The Guardian said of their 2014 appearance in Royal Festival Hall, ‘the performance touched greatness, and held onto it.’ The orchestra won three Grammy awards for its 1999 recording of Stravinsky ballet scores.

The orchestra presents the complete score of one of Stravinsky’s most popular pieces, The Firebird, which represented an international breakthrough for the 27-year-old composer when he was commissioned by the Ballet Russes to write a Russian-inflected score for a major new ballet.

An unknown who had previously arranged some Chopin pieces for the dance company, Stravinsky was impresario Diaghilev’s third and wild-card choice for the job: Rimsky-Korsakov had just died, and an arrangement with Lyadov came to nothing.

The ballet’s scenario was drawn up by a committee who included its choreographer and designer. The intention was to ride the wave of Parisian enthusiasm for Russian nationalism, and the concept was a melange of Slavic folk-tales.

Stravinsky came through with a musical triumph: a bold, modern, gorgeously orchestrated work offering engaging drama and appealing folk melodies.

The evening begins with a piece by Tilson Thomas himself performed by selected players from the orchestra. Lope is a light-hearted depiction of a dog’s daily walk, interpreting canine thrills through wind, brass and percussion.


San Francisco Symphony
Michael Tilson Thomas conductor
Daniil Trifonov piano


Michael Tilson Thomas: Lope
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.4
Stravinsky: The Firebird, complete ballet (1910)

Dates & times

22 Mar 2020
Approximate run time: 115 mins
Run times may vary, find out more


Royal Festival Hall


£20 - £75
Booking fee: £3.00 (Members £0.00)
£20, £30, £45, £55, £75


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