After nearly a quarter of a century leading the Hallé, Sir Mark Elder steps down as its Music Director, having revitalised the orchestra and taken it into the international top tier. His commitment to the Nottingham residency, and obvious affection for the Royal Concert Hall, has been at the heart of the orchestra’s popularity here.

A farewell concert demands a stellar soloist and with Boris Giltburg performing Rachmaninov’s First Piano concerto, sparks will surely fly. The young composer modelled it on Grieg’s famous concerto and high spirits run free throughout, with sprung rhythms reflecting its impetuous spirit. By contrast, the ominous trumpet call that begins Mahler’s titanic Fifth Symphony appears at first to herald a nerve-shredding encounter with fate. And yet this dramatic symphony was written in the afterglow of his meeting the love of his life, Alma Schindler, and contains some of his most tender music. Its powerful emotional extremes – from bullying double basses and explosive brass to the serene love song at the symphony’s heart – ensure an exhilarating ride, and the perfect send-off for a conductor who’s enthralled Nottingham audiences for two decades.