Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall: Raptuous applause for Shostokovich’s Seventh Symphony

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THE renowned City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra received raptuous applause following their performance at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall last Wednesday.

The evening opened with a performance of Mozart’s cheery Violin Concerto No. 4 in D, which included a solo from violin virtuoso Baiba Skride.

This pleasant violin concerto could well be described as the calm before the storm; when the orchestra returned after the interval, they launched into Russian composer Dmitri Shostokovich’s uncompromising Seventh Symphony ‘Leningrad’.

Shostokovich wrote this symphony in 1941 just after the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union.

Dedicated to Leningrad and its citizens, who held out against the Nazi forces during a 900-day seige, the music is thunderous and defiant.

This was the first time I had seen such a large orchestra at the concert hall and it worked really well.

Every instrumentalist worked hard to create the frantic battlecry that filled the room and had the audience gripped throughout the epic 70-minute piece.

The military-style percussion and horns reverberated around the room, while the strings held their own as the orchestra powered towards its dramatic climax.

For more information on upcoming events at the Royal Concert Hall, including classical concerts, contact the Box Office on (0115) 989 5555 or online at

Review by Catherine Allen