As Sir Mark Elder’s tenure as Hallé Music Director reaches its grand finale, this programme acknowledges a core Hallé tradition of English music.

Sir Mark is joined here, as he was in his first season as the Hallé’s Music Director, by Sir Stephen Hough, an undisputed “keyboard colossus” (The Guardian) who performs Brahms’ monumental First Piano Concerto. One of the best-loved and most frequently performed piano concertos in the world, it is an absolute tour de force.

This celebration culminates with Butterworth’s orchestral rhapsody A Shropshire Lad, his heartfelt postlude to his songs setting A.E. Housman’s poems, and Elgar’s Enigma Variations. These masterly vignettes of Elgar’s “friends pictured within” is the work that best encapsulates Sir Mark’s magnificent legacy with the Hallé.