The RNCM Symphony Orchestra’s annual end of year concert is just around the corner, and this one looks particularly exciting. To be performed at The Bridgewater Hall, the programme features Rachmaninov’s epic Symphony No 2 in E minor, Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand and a new work by Fenton Hutson. For many of the players, this will be their last time performing with the orchestra. What better way to mark this emotional end-of-era than with a passion-filled programme at the magnificent Bridgewater Hall.
After the three years of chronic depression that followed the dreadfully-received premiere of his first symphony, it’s astonishing that Rachmaninov ever wrote a second. It’s even more astonishing that this work would prove not only his vindication, but perhaps his ultimate victory as a composer. With its lush orchestration, brooding romanticism and lyrical splendour, the Russian composer’s Symphony No 2 is a thing of unassailable genius. At The Bridgewater Hall, it will be performed under the baton of celebrated conductor Elim Chan, who is widely admired for her unique combination of ‘drama and tenderness, power and delicacy’.
Joining Rachmaninov is Ravel, whose Piano Concerto for the Left Hand is one of the hardest concertos ever written. This remarkable piece was commissioned in 1929 by the pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who lost his arm during the First World War. Ever since Wittgenstein gave the concerto its premiere in 1932, it’s become a firm audience favourite, loved for its dark power and originality. At The Bridgewater Hall, it will be tackled by the RNCM’s own Luke Jones, with Jack Sheen as conductor.
Lastly, Manchester-based Fenton Hutson unveils a brand new piece for this concert. Having never had classical music training, Hutson started composition lessons in 2016 at the age of 23 at the RNCM. During his time there he won the prestigious Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust Bursary and was made an LSO SoundHub Associate, going on to have his music performed by the likes of Psappha and the BBC Singers. Taking inspiration from collage-based art forms, his music seeks to explore narrative and how it can be redefined from its traditional linear form.
This is set to be a standout concert in the RNCM’s Summer Season. Don’t miss it.