A special occasion calls for a very special concert – and from the epic tragedy of its opening to its transcendent final Hymn to Joy, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony has long been classical music’s supreme act of celebration. So what better way for the BBC SSO to toast Donald Runnicles’ 60th birthday than with the work at the very centre of his beloved German Romantic tradition? First, though, two of the orchestra’s principal players begin the festivities with one of the few pieces that can truly look Beethoven in the eye: Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante, music of sublime grandeur and heart-rending beauty.
Prelude: 6.45pm in the Grand Hall (free to ticket holders)
Donald Runnicles in conversation with Jamie MacDougall.
There will be no coda after this concert.
To be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, presented by Jamie MacDougall.