The Hallé has launched its Bridgewater Hall Autumn and Christmas 2021 seasons with an inspirational collection of masterpieces featuring stellar guest artists and composers.

The season opens with a trio of symphonies conducted by Sir Mark Elder – Sibelius’s uplifting Second, Elgar’s First and Brahms’s glorious Third.

Hallé Assistant Conductor, Delyana Lazarova then presents Dvorak’s ‘New World’ Symphony, followed by Gemma New conducting Walton’s Cello Concerto featuring cellist Laura van der Heijden.

Halle

The highlights continue with Natalya Romaniw singing Strauss’s Four Last Songs in a programme with Mozart’s ‘Jupiter’ Symphony, Rachmaninov’s Fourth Piano Concerto performed by Boris Giltburg, Handel’s Messiah, Mussorgsky’s Pictures from an Exhibition and Winton Marsalis’s Violin Concerto performed by its dedicatee, Nicola Benedetti.

Stephen Bell – Associate Director, Hallé Pops – makes a welcome return to the platform for a rousing Russian Extravaganza and The Hallé Goes to Nashville. Richard Balcombe also returns to the Hallé for The Music of Elton John: 50 Years of ‘Your Song’.

Christmas is back in spectacular style with concerts for all tastes and ages, including ‘Hallé Christmas Cracker’ traditional Carol Concerts, ‘80s Big Night Out’ and ‘The Magical Music of Harry Potter’. There is also plenty for families to enjoy with a Christmas Family Concert and The Snowman. The season ends in traditional style with Viennese New Year.

A number of concerts in the season will be filmed for future broadcast following the huge success of the Hallé’s Winter and Summer digital concerts.

You can book tickets for the Hallé’s Autumn/Winter Season here.

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The Hallé - Sibelius's Symphony No.2
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Sir Mark Elder

Many of our concerts this season help tell the stories of composers and the music you will hear. Opening the season, Sir Mark offers the first of our ‘Stories behind the music’ concerts. What Vaughan Williams learnt from Ravel about orchestration was put to superb effect in the string sonorities of the Tallis Fantasia, his spiritual, moving first masterpiece.

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Enjoy concerts ranging from classical and jazz through to world and popular music.

The Hallé - Elgar's Symphony No.1
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Sir Mark Elder

Establishing the mood of the concert’s first half, Wagner’s first act prelude to Lohengrin, evokes the descent of the Holy Grail from Heaven in a rapt and gradual crescendo. Its spirituality links perfectly with Offertorium, chosen to celebrate the 90th birthday of Sofia Gubaidulina, one of the greatest Russian composers of the post-Shostakovich generation. For Sir Mark it is an ‘exciting, dramatic and powerful work’, derived from the theme of J. S. Bach’s Musical Offering.

The Hallé - Russian Extravaganza
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Church building in Russia

Russia’s extraordinary musical legacy is almost impossible to match. The grandeur and drama of these wonderful Russian melodies will stir you, taking all the prizes for sheer excitement.

The Hallé - Brahms's Symphony No.3
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Sir Mark Elder

To celebrate its first concert appearance since February 2020, the Hallé Choir takes pride of place in Stravinsky’s striking Symphony of Psalms. Begun ‘in a state of religious and musical ebullience,’ the composer wrote, it culminates with both ‘a vision of Elijah’s chariot’ and the serene alleluias of the heavenly host. Sir Mark opens the concert with a Haydn symphony whose beautiful character and intriguing title Tempora mutantur (‘Times change’) seem, he feels, ‘appropriate for this moment in time’.

The Hallé - From the New World
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Delyana Lazarova

In this American-themed programme, Hallé Assistant Conductor Delyana Lazarova is excited to be ‘bringing to life again the music of the inspiring composer Florence Price’.

The Hallé - Walton's Cello Concerto
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Icarus falling the sky

New Zealand-born Gemma New, a first-time Hallé guest, has been making waves in the USA as a rising star. The season’s ‘Stories behind the music’ continue with Icarus, by the Russian/American Lera Auerbach. Enthralled from childhood by Ancient Greek mythology, this work’s character personified for her the tragic tale of Icarus’s ill-fated flight.

The Hallé - The Music of Elton John: 50 Years of Your Song
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Drawing: Elton John

In October 1970, Elton John released ‘Your Song’, written with his long-time collaborator Bernie Taupin, which has since been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. 50 Years of ‘Your Song’ is a symphonic celebration of the subsequent years of music-making by the multi-award-winning singer, pianist and composer. Elton John has sold more than 300 million records, had more than 50 Top 40 hits, won five Grammy Awards, five Brit Awards and is an Academy, Golden Globe and Tony Award winner.

The Hallé - Wigglesworth's Piano Concerto
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Marc-André Hamelin, cloudy sky in the background

Hallé Artist in Association, Ryan Wigglesworth, conducts a programme centred around his Piano Concerto, premiered at the 2019 BBC Proms by another ever welcome Hallé guest, Marc-André Hamelin, dubbed by the New York Times as ‘A performer of near-superhuman technical prowess’.

The Hallé - Richard Strauss's Four Last Songs
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Dancing couple

A concert curated around beginnings and endings with Richard Strauss centre-stage, contrasting his teenage Serenade with his swansong, Four Last Songs, composed aged 84. Couched in glowing autumnal hues by a vocal and orchestral master, they’ll be sung by Welsh soprano Natalya Romaniw, last with the Hallé in Manchester in 2016 when she thrilled concert-goers in Beethoven’s Ninth.

The Hallé Goes to Nashville
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Green poster: The Hallé Goes to Nashville

Grab your Stetson and take a trip to Tennessee for this rhinestone-studded concert featuring fifty years of legendary Country & Western hits. A full symphony orchestra and rocking rhythm section, complete with pedal steel guitar, will be joined by four of Britain’s leading guest vocalists for timeless classics from the likes of Glenn Campbell, Dolly Parton, The Shires, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Shania Twain, Lady A and The Eagles. This is the very best of Country so saddle up and ride on over for an epic evening!

The Hallé - Janacek's Sinfonietta
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Close up of water and brooms

A classic Hallé programme, mixing familiar composers with lesser-known works, is framed by Czech music. Suk’s Fantastic Scherzo is a rarity, yet it is graced by the most beguiling of Bohemian waltzes. Remarkably, for such a popular composer, Rachmaninov’s final piano concerto hasn’t been played by the Hallé for over 20 years.

The Hallé - Finlandia
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Snowflake, close up

Perfect for winter, this concert celebrates the mystery and beauty of the far North. Two of the most famous pieces by Norwegian Edvard Grieg feature: his musical tableaux for Peer Gynt and his stunning Piano Concerto, with its beautiful central Adagio, which will be performed by BBC New Generation Artist and Terence Judd-Hallé Award recipient, pianist Elisabeth Brauß.

The Hallé - Messiah
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Poster: Messiah

Tried out in Chester, when the notoriously grumpy Handel lost his temper with one poor soul from the cathedral choir, Messiah was premiered triumphantly in Dublin in 1742. Curiously, when first heard in London the following year, it didn’t make such a strong impression. Handel, confident he’d composed a masterpiece, and ever the canny entrepreneur, didn’t revive it for a couple of years.

The Hallé - Mussorgsky's Pictures from an Exhibition
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Pictures on a wall

Cristian Macelaru conducts as Nicola Benedetti performs the critically acclaimed concerto Wynton Marsalis composed for her. Taking its ‘inspiration from her life as a travelling performer’ and incorporating diverse allusions to her Scottish and Marsalis’s AfricanAmerican heritages, it’s in four picturesque movements, including a soulful ‘Blues’ and final ‘Hootenanny’, described by the composer as ‘a raucous, stomping and whimsical barn-yard throw-down.’

Hallé Christmas Family Concert
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Drawing: elf

Join the adventure packed with Christmas orchestral favourites, elvish magic, ice spells, and mischievous trolls who can’t juggle! The concert will include the themes from the films Elf and ET, Trepak from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, Sleigh Ride and many more!

The Hallé - The Snowman & Hairy Maclary
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The Snowman & Hairy Maclary

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without settling down in front of Raymond Brigg’s classic animated film, The Snowman. Bring everyone to watch whilst the Hallé performs Howard Blake’s magical score live, including a chorister singing ‘Walking in the Air’.

The Hallé - '80s Big Night Out
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Yellow background, cassette tape

Welcome to the ’80s! A decade of power dressing, spiral perms, shoulder pads, YUPPIES and some of the best songs ever recorded. Join the Hallé party as they pull their leg warmers up and let their hair down with vocal superstars Alison Jiear and Oliver Tompsett.

The Hallé - The Magical Music of Harry Potter
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Poster: The Magical Music of Harry Potter

Following on from the Hallé’s sell-out performance in February 2019, you are cordially invited to join us once again to celebrate the story of the world’s most famous wizard.

The Hallé - Viennese New Year
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Sky Ingram

Join Stephen Bell, Sky Ingram and the Hallé as they take you on a whirl around Vienna’s ballrooms and opera houses in this traditional start to the New Year.

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