Leonidas Kavakos violin Yo-Yo Ma cello Emanuel Ax piano

Wagner's feuding gods and a star trio play Brahms—classical and opera highlights, September 2018

Plus the CBSO play Dvorak's New World Symphony
August 21, 2018


The Ring Cycle

Royal Opera House, 24th September to 2nd November

Feuding gods, raging giants, scheming dwarves and, at the centre of it all, a magic ring: Wagner’s Ring Cycle is the ultimate operatic work, packing love and death, loss, jealousy and revenge into four operas and 16 hours. Keith Warner’s production, first seen complete in 2007, reimagines the Gods as Edwardian grandees inhabiting a Blade Runner-esque world. But it’s all about the voices. Don’t miss young Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen sing Freia in Das Rheingold. Die Walküre introduces Nina Stemma’s Brunnhilde and Stuart Skelton’s Siegmund, with Stefan Vinke’s Siegfried and Johannes Martin Kranzle’s Alberich bringing the cycle to its climax.

Kavakos/Ma/Ax Trio

Barbican Hall, 9th September

Violinist Leonidas Kavakos, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Emmanuel Ax are coming together for what should be an extraordinary chamber recital—pooling their resources to perform a complete cycle of Brahms’s Piano Trios. Together these works offer a vivid musical biography of the composer’s life, taking the listener from the youthful and expansive passion of the first trio, to the taut, almost aphoristic third.

Dvorak New World Symphony

Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 12th and 13th September

The CBSO’s practice of repeating concerts with slight variations in the programme, means that audiences have two chances this month to hear Dvorak’s glorious, folk-infused New World Symphony, conducted by exciting Israeli up-and-comer Omer Meir Wellber. Each night the symphony is paired with a different solo concerto: Gidon Kremer plays Bartok’s First Violin Concerto, while Jan Lisiecki performs Rachmaninov’s much-loved Second Piano Concerto.