The first ever opportunity to hear one of Berlioz’ most personal and heartfelt works played on the astonishing instrument which inspired the work. It is a very rare instrument, which may well have belonged to Berlioz or Paganini.

Made by one of London’s finest luthiers Barak Norman, the gran viola is mid way between viola and cello and has a rich, resonant and powerful lower register unlike any other viola. It has been in a private collection for decades but has now resurfaced, and the Royal Orchestral Society is thrilled to be able to present the first London performance of the Berlioz on this instrument with one of the UK’s leading players, Peter Sheppard Skaerved.

Stravinsky’s masterpiece the The Rite of Spring concludes the concert.


Igor Stravinsky – The Rite of Spring Hector Berlioz – Harold en Italie, H 68


Orlando Jopling – Conductor Peter Sheppard Skaerved – grand viola

Royal Orchestral Society