classical music
contemporary classical

Fallen Hero

This event has been cancelled as we are currently closed due to the coronavirus crisis.

Aurora Orchestra and pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard trace the rise and fall of the hero in this theatrical concert.

Aurora sparks a conversation across the centuries with works by Beethoven and Schönberg that speak to the mythic status of Napoleon Bonaparte as a champion of revolutionary ideals – and associated disillusionment.

Inspired by the spirit of the French Revolution, Beethoven dedicated the Eroica to his hero Napoleon.

However, upon hearing that Napoleon had crowned himself emperor, Beethoven furiously crossed out the dedication, declaring Napoleon ‘a rascal like all the others’.

The piece became simply a dedication to ‘the heroic’, pulsing with the rhythms of political protest and revolutionary in scope and scale.

Over a century later, Schönberg composed his Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte against the backdrop of World War II.

Dramatic, dark, and expressive, the Ode is based on Byron’s poem about the catastrophic fall of Napoleon and Schönberg saw the work as a defiant gesture against tyranny.

Part of Aurora’s series The Orchestal Theatre: The Claus Moser Series.

Marvellous… Playing from memory, Aurora created an organic sense of community, dynamism and inspiration.
The New York Times


Aurora Orchestra
Nicholas Collon conductor
Pierre-Laurent Aimard piano
Samuel West narrator


Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.4
Beethoven: Symphony No.3 (Eroica) (performed from memory)
Schoenberg: Ode to Napoleon for reciter, piano & string quartet, Op.41

Dates & times

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Queen Elizabeth Hall


£10 - £40
Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)
£10, £25, £35, £40


25% off (limited availability)
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