A hymn to a pure and noble spirit: bracing Prokofiev from Dutoit and the RPO

BACHTRACK ★★★

With combined ages of over 150 years between conductor and soloist, there was no lack of experience on the platform for this Royal Philharmonic Orchestra concert. There was no lack of energy either. Charles Dutoit, as dapper as ever, injected Berlioz and Prokofiev with swagger, while Elisabeth Leonskaja, a pianist firmly of the Russian old school, kneaded the keyboard into submission in an occasionally bruising account of Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor.

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Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Charles Dutoit at Royal Festival Hall – Benvenuto Cellini & Prokofiev 5 – Elisabeth Leonskaja plays Grieg’s Piano Concerto

CLASSICAL SOURCE

From the opening bars of the Overture to Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini, you couldn’t help marvelling at London’s extraordinary good fortune in its big five orchestras and in their chief conductors. I suppose Charles Dutoit (recently turned eighty) must now be regarded as a veteran, but there is no sense of him compensating self-consciously with the gathering years, as Solti did towards the end of his career.

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Eric Whitacre: inspirations and striving for authenticity

Eric Whitacre

Ahead of our feast of orchestral and choral works with composer Eric Whitacre on Wednesday 31 May at the Royal Albert Hall, journalist Hannah Nepil uncovers the Grammy Award-winner's musical style and preparations for his new work.

Skyping from his Los Angeles home at some ungodly hour in the morning, Eric Whitacre immediately turns his smooth charm on full beam. “Why don’t you start by telling me about you?” he says, flashing his Colgate smile. It takes a while to bring the composer-conductor round to the more pressing topic: his upcoming gala performance, conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

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Supporting your RPO: American Friends of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

We are delighted that our American Friends organisation has been granted public charity status by the Internal Revenue Service in the United States. Funds raised through the rejuvenated American Friends will provide essential support for the Orchestra’s US tours, educational activity at home and abroad and for some of the young American artists who regularly appear with the RPO.

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Latest News

  • Friday 3 March 2017
    Eric Whitacre: inspirations and striving for authenticity
  • Thursday 2 March 2017
    Supporting your RPO: American Friends of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Tuesday 28 February 2017
    Meet the RPO: Helen Storey heads to Bromley

Latest Press

  • Tuesday 7 March 2017
    A hymn to a pure and noble spirit: bracing Prokofiev from Dutoit and the RPO
  • Tuesday 7 March 2017
    Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Charles Dutoit at Royal Festival Hall – Benvenuto Cellini & Prokofiev 5 – Elisabeth Leonskaja plays Grieg’s Piano Concerto
  • Tuesday 28 February 2017
    Triumph of the human spirit: defiance and compassion from Marin Alsop and RPO