Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7

Thu 11 July, 2019

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A rare opportunity to get close to the genesis of a major new artwork, and to experience a towering landmark in modern music: Shostakovich’s ‘Leningrad’ Symphony.

Sir Mark Elder, the Hallé’s Music Director, and Johan Simons, the acclaimed Dutch theatre director, are creating a new work for The Factory inspired by two great artists and their experiences living on a knife edge in the Soviet Union: composer Dmitri Shostakovich and writer Vasily Grossman, author of the epic Life and Fate.

Simons will be discussing this new work before a performance of Shostakovich’s monumental Symphony No.7, ‘Leningrad’. Written for more than 100 musicians and first performed in the midst of the siege of the composer’s home city during the Second World War, its creation was a triumph of the human spirit. Elder and the Hallé’s 2013 live recording won universal acclaim – and the piece will once more come alive in the concert hall.

Produced by Manchester International Festival and the Hallé.

Image Credit: Deutsche Fotothek

As the world renowned orchestra ends the piece in a majestic cacophony, they take their bows to a thunderous standing ovation. If this is just the start of the journey towards a piece on a grander scale, the ride and ultimate destination will be thrilling.

Manchester Evening News

Overall the music and cast where spectacular, it was hard for me to find any criticisms about the show. The story this music tells is one that is unique and inspiring to anyone who hears it, and I recommend it to anyone willing to listen.

Voice Mag

Listening to the Seventh being performed this week by the Halle Orchestra at the Manchester International Festival (brilliantly conducted by Jonathon Heyward), it was impossible not to be moved by the passion, despair and sense of doom unmissable in the music.

Janet Street-Porter, i paper

One man in the stalls leapt immediately to his feet with a gruff shout of “F-ing yes!” as the last chord died away. It was hard to disagree with him.

Rohan Shotton, Bachtrack

Conductor – Jonathon Heyward 

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