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London, UK (Prelude to Akhnaten, Double Piano Concerto, Les Enfants Terribles)

October 21

For info and tickets here


Lawrence Renes – conductor
Katia Labèque – piano
Marielle Labèque – piano


PHILIP GLASS Prelude to Akhnaten

PHILIP GLASS Les Enfants Terribles arranged for two pianos by Michael Riesman (UK Premiere)

— Interval —

PHILIP GLASS Double Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra

JOHN ADAMS Doctor Atomic Symphony

From royalty and ritual to the test of the first atomic bomb, power is the thread running through this evening’s concert.

The prelude to Philip Glass’s opera Akhnaten conjures up an ancient world ruled by mystical rites. John Adams’s symphony, based on his opera Dr Atomic, evokes not just a devastated post-nuclear landscape, but the fears and anxieties of those involved in early nuclear testing.

In between, the peerless Labèque sisters join the Philharmonia for Glass’s Double Concerto, a rhythmic and joyful work in which the interplay of the orchestra, the two soloists, and even each of their hands, is constantly shifting. And they give the first UK performance of a two-piano suite adapted by Glass’s long-term collaborator Michael Riesman from the chamber opera Les Enfants Terribles, a dark tale of the power of the human imagination.


Please note this performance replaces the Philharmonia’s screening of Koyaanisqatsi. Due to the pandemic, the Philip Glass Ensemble is regretfully unable to perform, and the screening has therefore been cancelled.

Tickets already purchased for Koyaanisqatsi are valid for this concert.