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BBC SO/Davis

James Ehnes holding his violin

Fifty years since his first concert with the BBC SO, former Chief Conductor Sir Andrew Davis conducts Mahler’s journey to catharsis after James Ehnes plays Berg’s touching violin concerto. 

When Mahler started to sketch his Tenth Symphony, he was facing death with liberating stoicism. But Mahler didn’t expect to die with the work unfinished on his desk. From the composer’s incomplete sketches, musicologist Deryck Cooke recognized ‘music of such strength and beauty’ that he was determined the world should hear it.

On the fiftieth anniversary of his first concert with the orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis breathes life into Mahler’s death-halted symphony in Cooke’s completed version, after Alban Berg’s commemorative violin concerto in the deeply sensitive hands of James Ehnes.

The performance will finish at approximately 9.30pm. It includes a 20 minute interval.


photo of satu vanska in barbican theatre

Barbican Sessions: Satu Vänskä


In an empty Theatre, Satu Vänskä, Principal Violinist of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, performs JS Bach's ‘Allemande’ from Partita II in D minor.

Barbican Hall