classical music

Trifonov and the San Francisco Symphony: Rachmaninov

Part of Classical Season 2019/20

This event has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony join with soaring pianistic talent Daniil Trifonov to give voice to nostalgic romance, alongside Stravinsky's breakthrough masterpiece.

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 relationship between John Adams, the composer of Nixon in China, and the orchestra of his home city has lasted over 40 years, taking in the first performances of works such as Grand Pianola Music and Harmonielehre.

In this concert, the San Francisco Symphony perform the UK premiere of a new work by Adams at Royal Festival Hall, commissioned by San Francisco Symphony and Carnegie Hall.

Under Michael Tilson Thomas, the orchestra’s 2012 recording of Adams’ Harmonielehre & Short Ride in a Fast Machine won a Grammy for Best Orchestral Performance.


San Francisco Symphony
Michael Tilson Thomas conductor
Daniil Trifonov piano


John Adams: I Still Dance (UK premiere)
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.4
Stravinsky: The Firebird, complete ballet (1910)

Dates & times

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Royal Festival Hall


£20 - £75
Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)
£20, £30, £45, £55, £75


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* Please note change of work from originally advertised