Kahchun Wong, the Hallé’s Principal Conductor Designate, takes to the podium to showcase glimpses of the extraordinary things that he and the Hallé can already do.

The concert opens with Falla’s stunningly original Ritual Fire Dance, perhaps the most often transcribed section of his remarkably beautiful and powerful ballet, El amor brujo.

Stravinsky’s The Firebird was a runaway success when written for the impresario Diaghilev’s second season of Ballets Russes in Paris. An exotic telling of a Russian fairy tale, this magical journey is bathed in shimmering orchestral colours, from an enchanted forest through dreams, dances and games, from darkness and death, to light and rebirth.

Much of Shostakovich’s extraordinary output was profoundly marked by politics and the judgements of censors. His monumental Fifth Symphony, one of the greatest and most powerful of twentieth-century orchestral works was, supposedly, ‘A Soviet artist’s response to just criticism’. It is now known that this popular symphony was composed as a work of defiance so subtle that no-one realised at the time.