The Sounds of Shakespeare

20th May 2023, 7.30pm

West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge

Tchaikovsky Hamlet Overture, Shostakovich Hamlet Suite, Tchaikovsky Fantasy Overture to Romeo & Juliet, Bernstein Symphonic Dances from ‘West Side Story’

Actor Anna Tolputt
Conductor Lucy Hollins
Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra

Our Principal Guest Conductor Lucy Hollins leads the orchestra through a programme of Shakespearean adaptations, accompanied by excerpts from some of the Bard’s most beloved plays.

Tchaikovsky’s Hamlet Overture and Shostakovich’s Hamlet Suite paint the twists and turns of Shakespeare’s tragedy in two contrasting musical landscapes. Tchaikovsky’s overture sears with a brooding intensity reminiscent of the Fifth Symphony, whilst Shostakovich’s film score – here in the form of an eight-movement suite – brings a visceral modernity to the drama. Something is indeed rotten in the state of Denmark…

In the second half, Tchaikovsky’s high Romanticism combines with Leonard Bernstein’s jazz-infused Broadway sound-world in differing musical depictions of Romeo and Juliet. Whilst the Russian composer seeks to depict old Verona in the opening chorale, Bernstein transplants the story into 1950s New York, with ground-breaking results.

Tickets: From £15. Students & Under 18s £5 off (not available in top price band)