Cellist Steven Isserlis joined Jakub Hrůša and the Philharmonia Orchestra for a critically acclaimed concert at the Royal Festival Hall, London on Sunday 24 March 2024. The evening commenced with Mussorgsky’s Night on a Bare Mountain, familiar to millions of music-lovers from Walt Disney’s Fantasia. Kabalevsky’s Second Cello Concerto with Isserlis followed, with Mussorgsky’s best-loved work Pictures at an Exhibition crowning the evening’s programme.

The reviews were unanimous in their praise about the spectacular evening:

“Covent Garden’s new man gives a five-star performance…An electrifying night…searing impact…Hrůša and the Philharmonia created a dazzling display of orchestral wonder and panache… Nor did the invigorating pleasures fade when Steven Isserlis played Kabalevsky’s 1964 Cello Concerto…Hrůša’s musicians relished every symphonic nicety, and Isserlis sailed through with great devotion, skill and tenderness” – The Times, 5*

“[A] concert which had you pretty much on the edge of your seat throughout.  As soon as Jakub Hrůša started Mussorgksy’s Night on a Bare Mountain at an electrifyingly fast tempo, it was clear this was going to be something quite special…Isserlis played the startling opening pizzicato section [of Kabalevsky’s Cello Concerto No. 2] with dramatic freshness and treated us to a great deal of passionate and energetic virtuoso playing…There were really too many high spots to mention…” – Susan Elkin Reviews

Photo Credit: Steven Isserlis – Joanna Bergin; Jakub Hrůša – Ian Ehm