Han-Na Chang conducts one of Prokofiev’s most popular works, his ‘symphony on the greatness of the human soul’.

Much of the music of German-Jewish Maria Herz survives via manuscripts alone. Composed during the early- to mid-twentieth century, amidst rising antisemitism, only five of her more than thirty orchestral works were actually published in her lifetime. It is largely thanks to her grandson, Albert Herz, that we can enjoy Maria Herz’s music in modern times. Tonight, star cellist and champion of female composers, Raphaela Gromes will join conductor Han-Na Chang – herself a prestigious cellist – to perform Herz’s Cello Concerto.

Don Juan, based on the trials and tribulations of the legendary Renaissance-era Spanish libertine, begins the programme. It was one of Richard Strauss’s triumphs, catapulting the then-24 year old composer onto the international stage. Finally, the programme concludes with Prokofiev’s defiant and triumphant Fifth Symphony , a masterpiece that he described as being ‘a culmination of an entire period of work … a symphony on the greatness of the human soul.’