The Hallé makes a welcome return to Darlington under the direction of the insightful conductor, Simone Menezes *, with a programme that includes a symphony of enormous popularity.

Dvorák’s richly melodic ‘New World’ Symphony has always been admired by the public, for its American qualities and its contrasting, nostalgic sound world of the composer’s Czech homeland. The hugely familiar melody from the symphony’s Largo is well-known from the 1973 Hovis advert – so loved that it returned to our screens in 2019!

The concert opens with Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme, a work for cello soloist and orchestra that will be performed by the versatile cellist, Raphaela Gromes. Tchaikovsky had great respect for Mozart and this work is greatly influenced by the Austrian composer’s music: in its scoring for smaller orchestra, its style and its virtuosic, yet lyrical, solo part. The programme opens with the charming Suite en forme de Valses written by the late-Romantic French composer Mélanie Bonis.

* We are very grateful to Simone Menezes who has agreed to step in as a replacement for Elena Schwarz.