Thursday 30 May 2019, 7.30pmRoyal Festival Hall, London

Philharmonia Box Office : 020 7921 3907

Santtu-Matias Rouvali conductor

Pekka Kuusisto violin

John Adams The Chairman Dances

Stravinsky Violin Concerto


Stravinsky Petrushka (1947)

Finnish artists Santtu-Matias Rouvali and Pekka Kuusisto bring their energy and invention to a programme infused with rhythmic vigour.

Combining memorable tunes with a lively irreverence, Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto whirls across the orchestra with infectious patterns, while Petrushka tells the fantastical tale of three puppets brought to life at a Shrovetide fair. Inspired by Russian legend, Stravinsky fused traditional folk songs with his own vivid musical storytelling – hear how the bustling dances of the festival suddenly vanish as the magician arrives with menacing bassoons, and how two clarinets paint the otherworldly twilight of a scene in Petrushka’s room.

John Adams described The Chairman Dances as an ‘outtake’ from his opera Nixon in China. The music combines lush Hollywood harmonies with a vision of Chairman Mao and Madame Mao dancing a foxtrot together.



  • 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: 110 minutes, including 20-minute interval
  • After the concert: FREE post-concert performance, 9.45pm, The Clore Ballroom: Melodic Objects, with violinist Pekka Kuusisto and juggler Jay Gilligan

This concert is part of the Spotlight on Strings series

This concert is supported by members of the Conductors' Circle