On a spring day in an imaginary Russia, an excited crowd gathers for a puppet show. Petrushka loves the Ballerina. She prefers another. Tragedy looms, but don’t worry: puppets don’t have souls…do they? Stravinsky’s Petrushka paints Russian tradition in colours as bright as a piece of folk art – and as sinister as the 20th century. It’s a wonderfully bold finale for a concert that opens with Stravinsky at his most startling, and which unites two dauntless musical explorers – pianist Joanna MacGregor and our Principal Guest Conductor Ilan Volkov – in the haunting, utterly original Piano Concerto by Howard Skempton. A striking new work by one of British music’s true radicals completes an evening of music that fascinates and thrills.
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