West Road Concert Hall
  • Louise Farrenc Overture No. 1
  • Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5
  • Antonín Dvořàk Symphony No. 8
  • Piano Simon Callaghan
  • Conductor Robert Hodge

Farrenc: Overture no.1   Beethoven: Piano Concerto no.5   Dvorak: Symphony no.8

Born in 1904, the French concert pianist Louise Farrenc spent her early career touring Europe with her flautist husband Aristide. In the 1930s, tired of travelling, they set up a publishing house in Paris, and Louise turned her hand to composition.  Her output included three symphonies and two orchestral overtures. Overture no. 1 in E minor is an accomplished and appealing work in the Viennese classical tradition, blending lively string writing with melodic woodwind solos and rich brass colour.

Beeethoven’s piano concerto no. 5 is considered by many to be the epitome of musical and technical brilliance in solo concerto form.  Donald Francis Tovey encapsulates it thus: “The orchestra is not only symphonic, but is enabled by the very necessity of accompanying the solo lightly to produce ethereal orchestral effects that are in quite a different category from anything in [Beethoven’s] symphonies. On the other hand, the solo part develops the technique of its instrument with a freedom and brilliance for which Beethoven has no leisure in sonatas and chamber music.” Truly a masterwork.

Dvorak’s 8th Symphony is surely his most joyful. Whether inspiration came from his growing international success, his beloved national heritage of folk songs and dances, or the peace and tranquillity of the country retreat where he worked, is somewhat academic; the music is gorgeous and supremely uplifting.

Ticket Information

Admission: £20, £10 (students), £6 (under 14)

Tickets can be purchased in advance from TicketSource or on the door on concert day (subject to availability). E-tickets have no booking charge, Tickets may be posted but there is a £2.50 charge

West Road Concert Hall

11 West RoadCambridge CB3 9DP (map)
By Car
From Junction 12 of the M11 Drive for approx 1.5 miles into Cambridge (Barton Road) Turn left into Grange Road Turn 3rd right opposite Rugby Club (West Road) We are half way along the right hand side of West Road.
By Train
Trains run regularly to Cambridge from both London King’s Cross and London Liverpool Street. If you are coming from the North, it is advisable to change at Peterborough. West Road is a 10 to 15 minute taxi ride from the railway station.