Sunday 24 Feb 2019, 7.30pmRoyal Festival Hall, London

Philharmonia Box Office : 020 7921 3907

Esa-Pekka Salonen conductor

Truls Mørk cello

Sibelius The Oceanides

Esa-Pekka Salonen Cello Concerto


Bartók Concerto For Orchestra

Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts his own Cello Concerto alongside Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, rich in influences from Bach fugues to Hungarian folk dances.

Esa-Pekka Salonen wrote his Cello Concerto for his friend Yo-Yo Ma, who gave its first performances in 2017. With a conductor’s insight into the inner workings of the orchestra and a characteristically fearless attitude to innovation, Salonen has created a piece that stretches the cellist’s technique to its limits and holds the listener’s attention from start to finish.

“The cello does battle with a swirling orchestra, a hyperactive set of bongos, and even, through live tape looping, its own shadow” (New York Times).

Bartòk had composed nothing for four years and was sick in hospital in New York when Serge Koussevitsky asked him to write a new piece for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The commission gave him a new lease of life, and seven weeks later he had completed the Concerto for Orchestra. This vibrant work gives each section of the orchestra a chance to shine, and is rich with influences from throughout Bartòk’s career, from Bach fugues to Hungarian folk dances. 



  • 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 Insights Talk, 6pm, The Clore Ballroom: Esa-Pekka Salonen talks to BBC Radio 3 presenter Andrew McGregor about his Cello Concerto

This concert is part of the Salonen Series series