Rachmaninov 150: Piano Concerto No. 1

Berwaldhallen celebrates pianist and composer Sergei Rachmaninoff in five special programmes this autumn. He was only 17 years when he began composing his first piano concerto. 50 years later, he finished his last work: Symphonic Dances. Thus, we meet both the young and the old composer here, together with conductor Elim Chan and pianist Alexandre Kantorow.

Following both concerts the 22nd and 23rd, two individual bonus concerts featuring music by Sergei Rachmaninoff, Paul Hindemith and Edward Elgar. Scroll down to read more.

The concert will be broadcasted on Berwaldhallen Play and in the Swedish Radio Friday, December 15 at 7 pm.





The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra is known worldwide as one of Europe’s most versatile orchestras with an exciting and varied repertoire and a constant striving to break new ground The multi-award-winning orchestra has been praised for its exceptional, wide-ranging musicianship as well as collaborations with the world’s foremost composers, conductors and soloists.

Permanent home of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra since 1979 is Berwaldhallen, the Swedish Radio’s concert hall. In addition to the audience in the hall, the orchestra reaches many many listeners on the radio and the web and through it´s partnership with EBU. Several concerts are also broadcast and streamed on Berwaldhallen Play and with Swedish Television, offering the audience more opportunities to come as close as possible to one of the world’s top orchestras.

“The orchestra has a unique combination of humility, sensibility and musical imagination”, says Daniel Harding, Music Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra since 2007. “I have never had a concert with the orchestra where they haven’t played as though their lives depended on it!”

The first radio orchestra was founded in 1925, the same year that the Swedish Radio Service began its broadcasts. The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra received its current name in 1967. Through the years, the orchestra has had several distinguished Music Directors. Two of them, Herbert Blomstedt and Esa-Pekka Salonen, have since been appointed Conductors Laureate.

Elim Chan har varit chefsdirigent för Antwerpens symfoniorkester sedan 2019 och gör sin sista säsong 2023/24, under vilken hon bland annat kommer turnera med orkestern i Benelux-länderna med bland annat Gustav Mahlers fjärde symfoni och tillsammans med solister som cellisten Sol Gabetta och violinisten Midori. 2018–2023 var hon gästdirigent för Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Andra höjdpunkter under säsongen 2023/24 är debuter på Salzburgfestivalen och med orkestrar som Orchestre de Paris, Staatskapelle Berlin, New Yorks filharmoniker, Orchestre Métropolitain i Montreal, samt DR Symfoniorkestret och WDR Västtyska Radions symfoniorkester. Hon kommer även att gästa Los Angeles filharmoniker, St. Louis symfoniorkester, Oslo-filharmonien och Philharmonia Orchestra i London, bland andra. Våren 2023 tillkännagav Kastilien och Leóns symfoniorkester i Valladolid ett treårigt samarbete med Chan, med fokus på Igor Stravinskys baletter.

Elim Chan är uppvuxen i Hong Kong och har studerat vid Smith College i Massachusetts samt vid universitetet i Michigan. I december 2014 blev hon den första kvinnliga vinnaren av Donatella Flick Conducting Competition, vilket ledde till en tjänst som assisterande dirigent säsongen 2015/16 för Londons symfoniorkester. Säsongen därpå antogs hon till Los Angeles-filharmonikernas Dudamel Fellowship-program. Hon har även deltagit i mästarkurser för Bernard Haitink i Luzern.

Alexandre Kantorow is the winner of the 2024 Gilmore Artist Award, the youngest pianist and the first French artist to receive this accolade.  At the age of 22, he was the first French pianist to win the Gold Medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition, also receiving the Grand Prix, previously awarded only three times in the competition’s history.

He appears at major concert halls such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and Philharmonie de Paris. In 2023 he makes his debut at the Carnegie Hall in New York City and Tokyo Opera City. He performs regularly at the most prestigious festivals around the globe, including the Ravinia Festival, Verbier Festival and BBC Proms. Chamber music is one of his great pleasures, and he performs with artists such as violinists Renaud Capuçon and Antoine Tamestit, cellist Gautier Capuçon and baritone Matthias Goerne.

‍Upcoming highlights include concerts with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Berliner Philharmoniker, Orchestre de Paris, Philharmonia Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, tours with the Munich Philharmonic and Hong Kong Philharmonic, amongst others, and working with conductors including Manfred Honeck, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Jaap van Zweden, Francois-Xavier Roth and Klaus Mäkelä. His recordings have received the highest critical acclaim as well as multiple awards, including several Diapasons d’Or, Victoires de la musique Classique and Trophée d’Année. He has studied with Pierre-Alain Volondat, Igor Lazko, Frank Braley, and Rena Shereshevskaya.

Approximate duration: 1 hr 10 min (no intermission)


The Piano Quintet in A minor is one of three chamber pieces Edward Elgar wrote while living in the Sussex countryside in 1918–1919. The music reveals inspiration from the surrounding nature as well as from the Gothic literature Elgar immersed himself in. Alexandre Kantorow joins members of the orchestra in this elegant piece of chamber music.

Alexandre Kantorow, piano; Malin Broman, violin; Per Öman, violin; Tony Bauer, viola; Aleksei Kiseliov, cello

EDWARD ELGAR: Piano Quintet in A minor, 35 mins


Paul Hindemith’s sonata for four horns was premiered in 1953 by members of the Vienna Philharmonic. Here, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra’s horn players perform it as well as Sergei Rachmaninoff’s beloved Vocalise and two elegant pieces by American composers Florence Price and George Gershwin.

Anna Ferriol de Ciurana, Chris Parkes, Hans Larsson, Pedro Silva, Rolf Nykvist & Bengt Ny

PAUL HINDEMITH: Sonata for four horns, 15 mins
SERGEI RACHMANINOFF: Vocalise (arr. Chris Parkes), 6 mins
FLORENCE PRICE: Songs to the Dark Virgin (arr. Chris Parkes), 2 mins
GEORGE GERSHWIN: Prelude No. 2 from Three Preludes (arr. Chris Parkes), 3 mins