Thursday 7 May 2020, 7.30pmCambridge Corn Exchange, Cambridge

Venue Box Office: 01223 357851

Joana Carneiro conductor

Esther Yoo violin

Barber Violin Concerto


Copland Appalachian Spring Suite

Bernstein Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

Enjoy an evening of emotion-packed music by three great American composers of the 20th century.

Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein, towering figures in American classical music, were lifelong friends and champions of each other’s work. Copland’s Appalachian Spring started life as a ballet telling the story of a young Pioneer couple. Around the cheerful melody of the Shaker hymn Simple Gifts, Copland builds a web of beguiling music, beginning and ending in an atmosphere of deep peace. In Bernstein’s West Side Story, in contrast, powerful Latin dance rhythms depict the simmering, violent energy of two rival gangs. There’s idealistic young love here too though, in the dreamy, hummable tunes of ‘Maria’ and ‘Somewhere’.

Barber’s Violin Concerto, arguably his most popular work after the Adagio for Strings, has one of the most lyrical, serene openings in classical music. The pastoral mood of the Concerto is broken by its fiendish finale, a perpetual motion showpiece for the soloist. Esther Yoo, a regular collaborator with the Philharmonia, has both the “scrupulous technique and sweeping passion” (Bachtrack) to do justice to this wonderful piece.


  • Prices: £44; £34; £28; £17 (no view); plus £3 booking fee
  • Discounts: subscription discounts available; under-26s and concession discounts available
  • Running time: 100 minutes, including 20 minute interval
  • Recommended age: from 7+