The Philharmonia Orchestra announces the first half of its new season as Resident Orchestra at London’s Southbank Centreand residency at Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) this summer.

Key highlights:

  • Principal Conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali conducts ten performances in London, and opens the season with Mahler’s fifth and first symphonies.
  • Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason is the Orchestra’s Featured Artist, performing both Haydn concertos, with more to come in the second half of the season.
  • GRAMMY-nominated composer Anna Clyne is the Philharmonia’s Featured Composer. Her pieces feature in several concerts at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall and she curates a captivating programme of work by women composers for a free Music of Today programme.
  • Programme features world class soloists including Víkingur Ólafsson, Benjamin Grosvenor, Yuja Wang, Alisa Weilerstein and Lisa Batiashvili with conductor Lahav Shani.
  • Conductors Jordan de Souza and Tabita Berglund make their Royal Festival Hall debuts and Tabita Berglund makes her Philharmonia debut, with her former cello teacher Truls Mørk.
  • The Philharmonia and The Bach Choir join forces to mark Vaughan Williams’s 150th anniversary with an all-Vaughan Williams programme featuring A Sea Symphony.
  • Massed choirs join the fantastic musicians of the Philharmonia to perform Handel’s choral masterpiece Messiah in December.
  • Santtu joins forces with virtuoso violinist Nemanja Radulović in a programme including Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto, to close out the first half of the season – the second half will be announced in the autumn.
  • Summer residency at EIF features South Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho, a concert performance of Fidelio conducted by Sir Donald Runnicles, a chamber recital and three performances of Dvořák’s Rusalka from Garsington Opera featuring Welsh soprano Natalya Romaniw, conducted by Douglas Boyd
  • Southbank Centre season goes on sale on Tuesday 5 April for Friends of the Philharmonia, and on general sale on Monday 11 April (via the Philharmonia website and box office only – tickets will be available via Southbank Centre’s website and box office in May). Edinburgh residency concerts are now on sale.

The Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Principal Conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali, opens the season with two Mahler concerts alongside contemporary works. On 22 September Santtu conducts Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, John Adams’s ‘Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?’ with pianist and returning Southbank Centre resident Víkingur Ólafsson, alongside Philharmonia Featured Composer for the season Anna Clyne’s ‘Masquerade’. The second Mahler opener on 25 September sees Santtu conduct a concert with violinist Carolin Widmann in a programme featuring Korngold’s Violin Concerto alongside George Walker’s ‘Lyric for Strings’ and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1.

Superstar cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason plays the first of his concerts as the Philharmonia’s Featured Artist on 29 September with Marin Alsop who returns having played in the 2022 spring season. The first cellist ever to have an album in the UK Top Ten, Kanneh-Mason joins the Philharmonia in both of Haydn’s surviving cello concertos framed by Richard Strauss’s Don Juan and Ravel’s masterpiece Daphnis and Chloé. Kanneh-Mason will feature in more concerts to be announced later this year and will also partake in chamber music performances and a major Learning & Engagement project with young string players.

Philharmonia Featured Composer Anna Clyne has two UK premieres in the first half of the season as well as the performance of ‘Masquerade’. On 3 November Santtu conducts her vivid new piece ‘Color Field’, which takes its inspiration from a Mark Rothko painting Red, Orange, Yellow, the experience of synaesthesia and the fiery rhythms of Serbian folk music. The concert also features two pinnacles of the Romantic repertoire, Brahms’s ‘Piano Concerto No. 2’ and Dvořák’s ‘Symphony No. 7‘.

On 30 October young Norwegian conductor Tabita Berglund makes her Philharmonia debut, with her former cello teacher Truls Mørk. The two join forces in one of Prokofiev’s last completed works, the Sinfonia Concertante for cello and orchestra.

Acclaimed cellist Alisa Weilerstein takes the title role in Strauss’s Don Quixote with Jordan de Souza, who conducted the Philharmonia in Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier at Garsington Opera last year, making his Royal Festival Hall debut on 24 November.

Chopin’s elegant and expansive concerto contrasts with the vivid colours of music by Anna Clyne and Bartók in a concert conducted by Joana Carneiro on 1 December. Electrifying British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor performs Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 – he won a Gramophone Concerto Award and a Diapason D’Or de l’Année in 2020 for his Chopin Piano Concertos recording.

Acclaimed violinist Lisa Batiashvili, and Israeli conductor Lahav Shani make a welcome return to the Philharmonia with Mahler’s Sixth Symphony and Sibelius’s Violin Concerto on 8 December. Brilliant and charismatic pianist Yuja Wang joins the Philharmonia for an evening of unabashed Romanticism performing Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Piano Concerto No. 1 on 11 December.

The Philharmonia Orchestra continues its free ‘Music of Today’ series, premiering several co-commissions. Anna Clyne curates a free evening of chamber music on 3 November by some of the most engaging composers working today. Snatches of folk-inflected melody swirl and dance through Strum by New York composer Jessie Montgomery. Caroline Shaw, eclectic musician and youngest ever recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, describes her Punctum as “an exercise in nostalgia”. Paola Prestini’s G-force, dedicated to the memory of a friend and “a life fully lived”, combines the traditional textures of a string quartet with the otherworldly sound of the vibraphone. And a clarinet joins the string quartet in the first UK performance of Clyne’s own Strange Loops, co-commissioned by the Philharmonia. The Music of Today concert on 24 November features the world premiere of ‘Staggered Nocturne’ by Luke Bedford, written for boundary-pushing percussionist Colin Currie.

Elsewhere in the season there is a celebration of Vaughan Williams with The Bach Choir to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth on 17 November, a performance of Handel’s Messiah on 4 December, and the annual ‘Christmas at the Movies’ concert.

Concluding the first half of the season, Conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali joins forces with virtuoso violinist Nemanja Radulović in a programme spanning styles and centuries including Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto. February – June concerts are to be announced in the autumn.

Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) also recently announced a Philharmonia residency this summer. The residency comprises an orchestral concert featuring South Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho and a concert performance of Fidelio conducted by Sir Donald Runnicles. It will also include a new production of Dvořák’s best-loved opera, the dark fairy tale Rusalka, featuring Welsh soprano Natalya Romaniw in the title role, conducted by Douglas Boyd, Artistic Director of Garsington Opera.

Some concerts in the 2022 season will be streamed, details to be confirmed.