May 03, 2017
Piano star Peter Donohoe takes on Hull Philharmonic concertgoers' challenge
Image credit: Sussie Ahlburg

The audience has spoken and the Hull Philharmonic is ready to play.

The programme for the orchestra's second concert during Hull City of Culture 2017 will be based on votes cast by concertgoers.

Even before the results were known, renowned pianist Peter Donohoe had agreed to take on whatever challenge came up.

He will be soloist in Tchaikovsky's much-loved Piano Concerto No.1 and in the lesser-known Konzertstucke by Weber at the City Hall on May 13 (7.30pm).

As well as great European classics, the orchestra will take on a celebration of Hull streets by local composer Anthony Hedges and music from Argentina's cowboy country.

Musical director Andrew Penny said audience members were invited to vote for the music that meant most to them.

"It is not strictly a first past the post system as we have to take out the recently performed, the impractical and the unavailable before deciding on a short-list for a balanced and practical programme," he said.

"The vote usually brings a surprise or two. While Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite was a shoe-in for this concert, we're also enjoying rehearsing Estancia by the Argentina composer Alberto Ginastera, which is a great nomination.

"Although Venezuela's Simon Bolivar orchestra has brought it to the wider world, this exciting music is unlikely to have been heard before in our region.

"But there is no surprise about requests for the Tchaikovsky No.1. It's one of the great piano concertos."

Peter Donohoe's debut with the Hull Philharmonic was 35 years ago in Mr Penny's first concert with the orchestra soon after taking joint first place in the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. He has made nearly a dozen visits since, as player and conductor.

The orchestra also has a long relationship with Anthony Hedges, who moved to the Hull area in the 1960s.

They will play his Kingston Sketches written in 1969, which depicts city streets Ferensway, Silver Street and Whitefriargate.

"Anthony's piece was widely nominated and is very appropriate in this special year for the city," Mr Penny added. "And we are very fond of playing his music."

The Hull Philharmonic began the year with a sold-out world premiere of 6000 Pipes! by Sir Karl Jenkins in February.


Anthony Hedges: Kingston Sketches

Weber: Konzertstucke in F minor for Piano and Orchestra

Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite No.1

Ginastera: Dances from Estancia

Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1

In a Meet the Artist event, free to concert ticket-holders, Peter Donohoe will be in conversation with Andrew Penny from 6.30pm

Advance bookings – £8 to £27 (discounts available) from Hull City Hall box office, 01482 300300 or online at