Thursday 1 Nov 2018, 7.30pmRoyal Festival Hall, London

Philharmonia Box Office : 020 7921 3907

Edward Gardner conductor

Leif Ove Andsnes piano

Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1


Richard Strauss Ein Heldenleben

Meet the composer-as-hero Richard Strauss, paired here with Brahms’s majestic First Piano Concerto.

Brahms himself was the soloist in the first performance of his Piano Concerto No. 1. He then handed the role to his beloved friend Clara Schumann, who admired "its greatness of conception and the tenderness of its melodies". Tonight it is in the hands of Leif Ove Andsnes, renowned for his understated artistry and his lyrical, poetic playing. 

Understated is certainly not the word for Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life), with Strauss himself in the title role. Buoyant horns introduce the protagonist, "horns being quite the thing to express heroism", as Strauss wrote to a friend from the mountain resort where he was composing. A solo violin, alternately tender and capricious, represents his wife, and in a ‘battle’ passage he tussles with his critics. By the end, the hero and his music have found a sense of peace and fulfilment.     



  • Prices: £58 (premium); £45; £36; £28; £19; £12
  • Discounts: Subscription discounts available; under-18s and concessions discounts available; £8 tickets for students via Student Pulse one month before the concert (limited availability)
  • Running time: 130 minutes, including 20-minute interval
  • Before the concert: FREE Philharmonia Chamber Players concert, 6pm, Royal Festival Hall

This concert is part of the Piano Masterworks series