The Hallé’s 2021 Autumn and Christmas concerts

The Hallé is back with stunning Autumn and Christmas seasons

The Hallé has just launched its Bridgewater Hall Autumn and Christmas 2021 seasons with an inspirational collection of masterpieces and stellar guest artists and composers. Alongside a packed Hallé Bridgewater Hall season is a brand-new series of lunchtime chamber concerts at the awardwinning Hallé St Peter’s in Ancoats.

  • Guest performers include Benjamin Grosvenor, Baiba Skride, James Ehnes, Laura van der Heijden, Marc-André Hamelin, Natalya Romaniw, Boris Giltburg, Elizabeth Brauss and Nicola Benedetti.
  • Alongside Sir Mark Elder, the Hallé’s roster of conductors includes Delyana Lazarova, Gemma New, Christian Reif, Sofi Jeannin and Ryan Wigglesworth.
  • Featured composers include Thea Musgrave, Sofia Gubaidulina, Arya Tsytlianok, Samuel Barber, Florence Price, Lera Auerbach, Ryan Wigglesworth, Dorothy Howell, Josef Suk, Hugo Alfven, Christine Hals and Wynton Marsalis.
  • A new lunchtime Chamber Music Series at Hallé St Peter’s includes Benjamin Grosvenor performing the Schumann Piano Quintet alongside Hallé principal players, a performance of the Brahms Clarinet Trio with Elizabeth Brauss, Simon Turner and Sergio Castello-Lopez and a rousing recital from Hallé Brass.
  • A number of concerts will be filmed for future broadcast following the huge success of the Halle’s Winter and Summer digital concerts which have been viewed and celebrated around the world.

Sir Mark Elder opens the season with a trio of symphonies: Sibelius’s uplifting Symphony No.2 (23, 26, 29 September) which the Hallé premiered in this country in 1905, Elgar’s First (30 September), given its world premiere in 1908 by the Hallé, and Brahms’s glorious Third (9 October). Sibelius is set alongside Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G played by Benjamin Grosvenor and Thea Musgrave’s Sibelius-inspired Song of the Enchanter.

Manchester will have its first chance to hear Sofia Gubaidulina’s Offertorium before Elgar’s great symphony and Brahms’s Third is preceded by the triumphant return of the Hallé Choir who join the Orchestra in Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms.

Sir Mark Elder says in his introduction to the season: ‘We are all thrilled once more to be able to welcome everyone back to The Bridgewater Hall and a full and ambitious Hallé Autumn season. As we glimpse normality once again, we can, together, look forward to some magnificent music making. We will announce our Spring concerts in October, but until then there are treasures to be discovered and wonderful stories to be told.’

Florence Price was the first African-American woman to have a symphony performed by a major orchestra. In October the Hallé’s Assistant Conductor Delyana Lazarova directs a performance of Price’s haunting Ethiopia’s Shadow in America, together with Barber’s Violin Concerto performed by James Ehnes.

Later that month Gemma New conducts Walton’s Cello Concerto performed by Laura van der Heijden with Copland’s Symphony No.3 and Lera Auerbach’s poignant and tragic Icarus. In November the Hallé’s Artist in Association Ryan Wigglesworth conducts his own Piano Concerto performed by Marc-André Hamelin as well as Schumann’s Second Symphony.

A season packed with highlights also includes Natalya Romaniw singing Strauss’s Four Last Songs in a programme with Mozart’s ‘Jupiter’ Symphony, Janáček’s Sinfonietta, Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.4 played by Boris Giltburg, Handel’s Messiah, Mussorgsky’s Pictures from an Exhibition and Wynton Marsalis’s Violin Concerto performed by its dedicatee, Nicola Benedetti.

The Hallé’s Autumn season marks the welcome return of Stephen Bell, the Orchestra’s Associate Director, Hallé Pops. His concerts include a rousing ‘Russian Extravaganza’ featuring Tchaikovsky’s explosive 1812 Overture, and ‘Finlandia’, a celebration of all things Scandinavian including Grieg’s Piano Concerto performed by Elizabeth Brauss (winner of The Terence Judd – Hallé Award). Richard Balcombe conducts ‘The Music of Elton John: 50 Years of Your Song’ and Stephen returns to the podium to direct ‘The Hallé Goes to Nashville’, a rhinestone-studded trip to Tennessee.

Hallé Chief Executive David Butcher said: ‘We’re completely thrilled to be returning this autumn for a packed season of inspiring concerts featuring an array of iconic music, new works and great artists offering an illuminating experience for our Greater Manchester audiences. Alongside the world class acoustics of The Bridgewater Hall, the venue’s state of the art ventilation and friendly staff will enable our loyal audiences to experience the visceral power of live music in safety and comfort as we emerge from the confines of this terrible pandemic.’

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