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Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony

Britten Sinfonia/Adès

Britten Sinfonia rehersal

Thomas Adès juxtaposes Beethoven’s life-affirming Symphony No 6 with Gerald Barry’s passionate The Conquest of Ireland.

Beethoven takes inspiration from nature, allowing his imagination to range vividly across the Austrian countryside in his thrilling, intricate Pastoral symphony. For Thomas Adès, Gerald Barry’s ‘ferociously objective’ music is a natural partner for Beethoven. In this concert, the 6th is juxtaposed with Barry’s passionate The Conquest of Ireland for orchestra and bass, based on a 12th-century account of Henry II’s military conquest of Ireland.


thomas ades in a blue sweater

Watch: conductor Thomas Adès on Beethoven

Thomas Adès discusses how he's approaching Beethoven's symphonies and why he's paired them with the music of Irish composer and Beethoven devotee, Gerald Barry.

photo of david butcher in front of an orange wall

Watch: David Butcher reflects on Year One

Britten Sinfonia Chief Executive, David Butcher, reflects on year one of the Beethoven Symphony Cycle conducted by Thomas Adès and looks forward to what's to come.

photo of psycho by alfred hitchcock for britten sinfonia 2017-18 season

Watch: Britten Sinfonia 2017–18 season trailer

A short film highlighting some of Britten Sinfonia's 2017-18 projects and collaborations, which also marks the orchestra's 25th birthday.

Barbican Hall