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Stravinsky's Firebird, Petrushka and Rite of Spring

London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle

Photo of Sir Simon Rattle conducting

An authority on Stravinsky, Sir Simon Rattle continues the 2017–18 season opening celebrations with three of the composer’s revolutionary ballets.

Stravinsky sent shockwaves through classical music in the 20th century. His first three ballets – The Firebird, Petrushka and The Rite of Spring, all composed between 1911 and 1913 – brought a new and frenzied sense of rhythm, so distressing to audiences that it caused uproar; The Rite of Spring even caused a riot.

And it’s not hard to see why. Is there any moment in music more demonic than the opening to The Firebird, a terrifying rumble of strings that would make Jaws tremble? There are few pieces more unsettling than The Rite of Spring with its carnal, tribal rhythms; or Petrushka with its impish Punch and Judy puppets. Sir Simon Rattle brings these three creations to life in this dramatic programme.

Please be advised that there will be no late-comers point during the first piece.

21 September broadcast live on BBC Radio 3

24 September streamed live on YouTube and

24 September generously supported by Reignwood

Pre-concert event

6pm Barbican Foyers
Guildhall School musicians play Fanfares

Barbican Hall