See And Hear The Queen’s Favourite Composer This Weekend

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies

Now, before anyone points out that it’s hard to be certain who Her Majesty’s favourite composer might be, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies does hold the title ‘Master of the Queen’s Music’, so if he’s not at the very top of the list he’s bound to be there or thereabouts.

This Sunday (2 February), the London Symphony Orchestra puts on a day of celebration for one of the UK’s finest composers. Two events will take place on the day, one at the Barbican and the second at LSO’s gaff in St Luke’s, before the world premiere of the composer’s latest work.

Firstly, from 10am-1pm at Barbican Hall, Sir Antonio Pappano, Music Director of the Royal Opera House, opens up rehearsals to the public, including the unique opportunity to observe the conductor and orchestra from the stalls. The music to be rehearsed includes the latest composition from Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, his Symphony No. 10.

That piece will be the subject of discussion at the afternoon event at Jerwood Hall, LSO St Luke’s. From 2.30-5pm, Sir Peter joins BBC Radio 3 presenter Sara Mohr-Pietsch to discuss the new symphony, followed by a performance of some classics of the Davies oeuvre, including ‘Farewell to Stromness’ and ‘Dances from The Two Fiddlers’.

Tickets for both daytime events are £17, while the afternoon event alone is £12. For a taster of the afternoon’s music, you can see and hear a performance of ‘Dances from The Two Fiddlers’ below, by Italian musicians Vittorio Ceccanti and Bruno Canino.

These events are a precursor to the world premiere of the symphony in its entirety at the Barbican Hall, at 7.30pm on Sunday evening. A few tickets are still available for this performance but they are unlikely to be for much longer, so you’re advised to head over to the LSO site now to avoid missing out on the first airing of a grandee of British classical music’s latest masterpiece.

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

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