Classical music

Sunlight and storm clouds London Philharmonic Orchestra

Part of Classical Season

Ray Chen performs Brahms' Violin Concerto, in a programme also featuring his dramatic First Symphony. Think of Brahms and you could picture a grand old man with a huge beard. However, his First Symphony is the work of a young artist wrestling with love, loss and the whole weight of musical history.

From the pounding heartbeats of its opening to the heaven-storming triumph of its closing bars, this is a symphony written in blood and tears; a fitting challenge for the great Viennese conductor Manfred Honeck.

First though, comes another, gentler side of Brahms' genius, as the winner of both the Queen Elisabeth and Yehudi Menuhin competitions, Ray Chen, scales the peaks of Brahms' Violin Concerto: refreshment for the spirit, bathed in Alpine sunlight.

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Royal Festival Hall