Britten Sinfonia: Brahms & Mahler

Enjoy a Brahms symphony as the composer wished it to be heard when the Britten Sinfonia celebrates his work in Norfolk in early 2019.

Acclaimed conductor Sir Mark Elder will join the musicians to bring the composers Symphony No 2 to life capturing both the poignancy and exhilarating spirit.

The concert at Norwich Theatre Royal on Saturday January 19 is part of the long-term collaboration between Sir Mark and the Britten Sinfonia to perform the entire Brahms Symphony Cycle.

A popular composer, Brahms work is thought by some to be quite ostentatious and loud.

Sir Mark, who has been a fan of the composer since childhood, sees other elements in it and wants to explore that in the Norwich performance. He explained: “I want to reveal the secret side of Brahms’ music. There are moments of incredible intimacy and delicacy alongside the Romantic bravura. It will be as Brahms wanted it to be heard.”

The performance will also feature soloist Anna Stéphany who is fast emerging as one of the world’s most exciting mezzo-sopranos. In demand by both opera companies and orchestras, her recordings of Handel’s Serse and the repertoire of Lorraine Hunt Lieberson won critical acclaim. She has also been part of the Zurich Opera ensemble and sung with major opera companies throughout Europe.

As well as Brahms Second Symphony, the programme will also trace a poetic line from the composer’s work to a more intimate picture of poetry, love and nature in Mahler’s Songs For A Wayfarer.

Completing the programme will be the Suite on English Folk Tunes by Suffolk’s acclaimed Benjamin Britten, a composer who loved Brahms music while a teenager.

David Butcher, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Britten Sinfonia, says this concert and the whole Brahms Symphony Cycle is a great opportunity for them to work with Sir Mark and it is one that everyone is relishing. He said: “Everything we do at Britten Sinfonia is centred around exploring music to the fullest.

“Returning to the spirit of original performances of Brahms’ Symphonies has been truly enlightening. Sir Mark has a passion for these works. Matched by his scholarly research and rigorous rehearsal process, his Brahms Symphony Cycle is a true labour of love.”

Britten Sinfonia: Elder Conducts Brahms and Mahler, Saturday 19 January at 7.30pm. Tickets £10-£36. Discounts for Friends. Pre-concert talk In Conversation: Sir Mark Elder is at 6.30pm. Seats are free for the talk to all concert ticket holders.

To book, log onto or call the box office on 01603 630000.