Written at a turbulent time in the composer’s life, Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony is a brilliant example of the tragic yet otherworldly genius that has come to be associated with Beethoven’s music. Napoleonic wars, unrequited love, financial difficulties combine to create a melting pot for the work that resulted. Its highlight comes in the second movement – the Allegretto – where this unrest seems to pour out in a slow, dark, searingly beautiful form. The movement is often played on its own, and has been used for a range of scores for films, advertisements and television programmes, including most recently The Kings Speech. The Viennese audience who heard it first must have realised how good it was – it was encored as soon as it finished. Before this is the Violin Concerto by Unsuk Chin, Artistic Director of the Music of Today series, a piece described by the judging committee of the Grawemeyer Award as “a synthesis of glittering orchestration, rarefied sonorities, volatility of expression, musical puzzles and unexpected turns”.