Sir Mark Elder, Hallé Conductor Emeritus, returns to conduct this exploratory programme: a symphony detailing an ascent through the foreboding landscape of the Alpine mountains and a world premiere.

Richard Strauss’s colossal ‘An Alpine Symphony’ is one of his largest, non-operatic works, calling for no fewer than 125 players. Traversing 22 sections, reflecting the scenes encountered on the ascent and return, it was largely inspired by the composer’s childhood experience of climbing mountains with friends. From the serene sunrise to the ominous storm, Strauss masterfully employs orchestral colours to depict nature’s majesty and challenges.

Long-term collaborator with the Hallé and Sir Mark, Huw Watkins has been praised throughout his career for his versatility and musical integrity. Following the success of two previous symphonies written for the Hallé (his Symphony No.2 ‘proved a modern symphony can be optimistic, easy to grasp – and subtle’ The Daily Telegraph) we hear the world premiere of his Concerto for Orchestra. Written knowing the Hallé so well, expect shimmering orchestration, luminous textures and rich melodic ideas.