Orchestral Concert Series 2018/19

Welcome to the 29th Corn Exchange Orchestral Concert Series

Be swept away by the music of Rachmaninov, Beethoven, Vaughan Williams, Shostakovich, Mozart and Tchaikovsky.

Save up to 37% when you subscribe to three or more concerts – that’s up to £14 on every ticket.

How to Book: If you would like to book 6 or 7 concerts, please use the button below. If you would like 3, 4 or 5 concerts, select your tickets as normal online and the discount will apply automatically when you check out. You can also ring our Box Office on 01223 357851 and we will be happy to help.


Rachmaninov, Shostakovich, Khachaturian

with the Russian State Symphony Orchestra

Tuesday 9 Oct 2018

Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, composed at the height of the Great Purge, brims with suspense, tension, and moments of twisted irony, capped off by a thunderously cathartic finale which calls on the full powers of brass and percussion.

Less often heard than his famed second piano concerto, Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 1 calls for the same ferocious musicianship, with manic flurries, fanfares, and the lushly romantic textures you’ll recognise from Rachmaninov’s best-loved orchestral works. Pianist Barry Douglas, widely acclaimed for his recordings of Beethoven and Brahms, brings his ‘finely chiselled’ technique (Gramophone) to this exhilarating piece.

Khachaturian’s exuberant Masquerade Suite opens this concert featuring the acclaimed Russian State Symphony Orchestra – musicians who really know how to get under the skin of music by their country’s greatest composers.

Khachaturian Masquerade Suite

Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 1

Shostakovich Symphony No. 5




Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Kodaly

with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Friday 30 Nov 2018

Experience the dazzling splendour of Franz Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Mariam Batsashvili, the first woman ever to win the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition. With ecstatic cascades of sound, tender duets between piano and clarinet, and rousing fanfares from the strings and brass, Liszt’s exotic Romanticism is on full display.

Tchaikovsky’s anguished Symphony No. 4, written during a time of turbulence, veers from fateful fanfares to poignant melancholy before hurtling through a whirlwind finale. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s Associate Conductor Alexander Shelley opens the concert with Kodaly’s five-movement suite, full of Hungarian folk tunes and robust rhythms.

Kodaly Dances of Galanta

Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1

Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4



Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Rachmaninov

with Philharmonia Orchestra

Friday 1 Feb 2019

Let the ravishingly lyrical Mendelssohn violin concerto wash over you, performed by acclaimed Spanish violinist Leticia Moreno. The concerto is paired with Beethoven’s darkly dramatic Coriolan Overture, inspired by the same tragic story as Shakespeare’s Coriolanus.

Rachmaninov’s majestic Second Symphony swells from dark depths, accentuated by rumblings in the low strings and haunting woodwinds, before exploding into a triumphant final movement that climaxes with one of the most irresistible melodies of all time.

Beethoven Coriolan Overture

Mendelssohn Violin Concerto

Rachmaninov Symphony No. 2



Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven

with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Friday 22 Feb 2019

Voted the greatest symphony of all time in a survey of 151 conductors by BBC Music Magazine, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 melds the elegance of the Classical period with tempestuous early Romantic passion. Here it’s performed alongside the full-throttle drama of Tchaikovsky’s intoxicating first piano concerto. Opening the concert is the overture from Mozart’s opera, La clemenza da Tito, written just a few months before his death in 1791.

Mozart Overture from La clemenza da Tito

Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1

Beethoven Symphony No. 3 ‘Eroica’



Vaughan Williams, Mozart, Beethoven

with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Wednesday 27 Mar 2019

We are delighted to welcome legendary violinist and conductor Pinchas Zukerman and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for this richly varied programme, opening with Vaughan Williams’s sublime Tallis Fantasia, whose visionary use of a triple string orchestra was inspired by the haunting acoustic of Gloucester Cathedral.

Symphony No. 36 ‘Linz’ was composed in just four days on the whim of a local aristo while Mozart was on holiday with his wife. Beethoven’s violin concerto took him rather longer, but with Zukerman pulling double duty as soloist, this beloved audience favourite is carried off with elegance and ferocity.

“It was a joy to be in Zukerman’s musical company”

- The Los Angeles Times

Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

Mozart Symphony No. 36 ‘Linz’

Beethoven Violin Concerto



Barber, Haydn, Mozart, Warlock

with the European Union Chamber Orchestra

Thursday 25 Apr 2019

This concert by the sparkling European Union Chamber Orchestra offers two distinct spirits and a pair of extraordinary soloists.

Mozart’s charming and joyous flute and harp concerto, written for the keen amateur musician, the Duke of Guînes and his harpist daughter, sees the welcome return of Catrin Finch to the Corn Exchange alongside flautist Fiona Slominska. The concerto is paired with a set of sprightly and elegant dances by Peter Warlock, a true maverick of 20th century British music.

There’s a change in tone for the other half of this programme with Barber’s beloved Adagio for Strings, with its slowly building swells of exquisitely harmonised melancholy. The ‘Trauer’ or Mourning Symphony melds the urgency and tension of Papa Haydn’s Sturm und Drang period with characteristic wit and dazzling colours from strings and brass.

Warlock Capriol Suite

Mozart Concerto for Flute and harp

Barber Adagio for Strings

Haydn Symphony No. 44 ‘Trauer’



Rimsky-Korsakov, Glinka, Rachmaninov

with the Russian Philharmonic of Novosibirsk

Tuesday 21 May 2019

Rachmaninov’s trio of Symphonic Dances, the last score he completed, are so full of colour, ravishing melodies and dashing rhythms, that it’s hard to believe he’d almost given up composing a few years earlier. Here they form a winning double bill with the composer’s endlessly inventive Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, which puts the virtuoso violinist’s familiar tune through a series of ever more ingenious contortions.

Glinka’s Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila dances with the sounds of Russian folk tunes, while Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol brings the passion and heat of Andalusian flamenco to the concert hall.

Rimsky-Korsakov Capriccio Espagnol

Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini

Glinka Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila

Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances



Become a Subscriber and Save

Did you know that you can save up to 37% when you book for multiple concerts as part of a subscription package?

Choose anywhere from three to seven concerts and you’ll get the best discounts we can offer – that’s a savings of up to £14 on every ticket.

What’s more, if you like your seats you’ll keep them for future seasons, or if you’d prefer to sit in a different part of the hall you’ll have first priority when booking opens for the landmark 30th anniversary 2019-20 season.

How to Book: If you would like to book 6 or 7 concerts, please use the button below. If you would like 3, 4 or 5 concerts, select your tickets as normal online and the discount will apply automatically when you check out. You can also ring our Box Office on 01223 357851 and we will be happy to help.

No thanks, I’d rather book my tickets for individual shows.

To book for individual shows please click on the show you'd like to attend below.


Pre & Post Concert Events

Why not make a night of it and come along to one of our pre or post-concert events, giving you the chance to learn more about the music and the people who perform it?

Pre-concert talks

Held in venues close to the Corn Exchange these talks are a great way to start your evening, giving an insight into the music to be performed and those performing it.

Meet the Players

Come and meet the players before they go on stage and find out what it is really like to be a professional musician.

Venue: Corn Exchange Foyer

Orchestral Lates

Debuted in the 2017/18 Season, Orchestral Lates are informal sessions held after the concert and will feature conductors, soloists and players from some of the world class orchestras performing as part of the Orchestral Series. You’ll have the chance to have a drink and round off your evening by finding out a bit more about the music you’ve just been listening to in an informal setting.

Times and venues for each event will be available via the website closer to each concert date. For more information please contact our Box Office on tickets@cambridgelivetrust.co.uk 



The Orchestral Concert Series would not be possible without the support of generous companies and individuals. You too can support this year's series by setting up a regular donation by Direct Debit. 

Click this link to set up a regular donation online or you can contact Tom Shallaker on 01223 791794 or by emailing tom.shallaker@cambridgelivetrust.co.uk