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The International Concert Series at St David's Hall

The International Concert Series at St David's Hall

October 2019 - June 2020

THE International Concert Series is back at St David’s Hall with 15 powerful performances from Prague to Reykjavik. 

Whether your taste is for classical, choral or contemporary, this year’s programme is sure to have something for you with visiting orchestras from across Europe and the best of British too. 

Plus, there’s a top-class line-up of today’s most distinguished soloists including pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet; cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, violinist Nicola Benedetti, guitarist Craig Ogden and horn player Benjamin Goldscheider

Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
feat. Peter Donohoe (Piano)
Wednesday 9 October 2019, 7.30pm 

The 2019/20 season starts in style with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra (Weds 9 Oct) under the baton of Yuri Simonov. This captivating concert juxtaposes the Slavic passion and intoxicating energy of Khachaturian with enchanting excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. There’s also Rachmaninov’s rarely heard but resonant Fourth Piano Concerto featuring the acclaimed Peter Donohoe, who was the silver medallist at Moscow’s 1982 International Tchaikovsky Competition.

Welsh National Opera Orchestra
feat. Daniel Müller-Schott (Cello)
Sunday 27 October 2019, 3pm 

A couple of weeks later, the Welsh National Opera Orchestra (Sun 27 Oct) evoke the swirling sea currents of Debussy’s symphonic masterpiece La Mer before Daniel Müller-Schott joins them for Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, which wistfully pays tribute to the composer’s lost love Josefina.

Prague Symphony Orchestra
Feat. Ester Pavlů (Mezzo-Soprano)
Friday 8 November 2019, 7.30pm 

The following month sees a visit from the Prague Symphony Orchestra (Fri 8 Nov) as Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral Choir and the Cardiff and Swansea Bach Choirs join forces for Mahler’s epic Symphony No 3. As the last great Romantic symphonist, Mahler’s music is conceived on the grandest scale, and sensational mezzo-soprano Ester Pavlů can more than fulfil its ambitious scale.

Philharmonia Orchestra
feat. Sayaka Shoji (Violin)
Wednesday 27 November 2019, 7.30pm 

ICS regulars, the Philharmonia Orchestra (Weds 27 Nov) return with a rousing repertoire of Brahms and Sibelius. Soloist for Brahms’ Violin Concerto is the virtuoso Sayaka Shoji, who ascends the peaks of a work that is bathed in Alpine sunlight. Plus, legendary conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy is a world-renowned Sibelius interpreter, so brace yourself for the explosive energy of the ever-popular Second Symphony.

Manchester Camerata
feat. Craig Ogden (Guitar)
Tuesday 3 December 2019, 7.30pm 

Then there’s a veritable feast from Manchester Camerata (Tues 3 Dec) of musical gems spanning over three centuries of guitar tradition combining vintage Spanish and Italian repertoire with contemporary classics and outstanding arrangements. Australian guitarist Craig Ogden plays adventurous, eclectic and vibrant tunes with highlights including Arvo Pärt, Ludovico Einaudi and The Beatles’ Here Comes the Sun.

The Sixteen feat. Harry Christophers CBE (Conductor)
Sunday 15 December 2019, 3pm 

Choral ensemble The Sixteen (Sun 15 Dec) return with a selection box of songs that are certain to get you into the Christmas spirit. Crowning this year’s seasonal programme is Benjamin Britten’s inspirational carol anthology conducted by the masterful, Harry Christophers CBE.

WNO Orchestra & BBC NOW
The 1808 Concert
Sunday 4 January 2020, 4pm 

The New Year starts with a bang as the Welsh National Opera Orchestra and BBC National Orchestra of Wales (Sun 4 Jan) deliver consecutive concerts as part of a city-wide celebration marking 250 years since Beethoven’s birth. This unmissable performance reconstructs his historic Benefit Concert in Vienna in December 1808. Over the course of four hours on a freezing night at the Theatre an der Wien, all but his dramatic aria Ah Perfido received first performances. This wonderful retrospective featuring conductors Carlo Rizzi and Jaime Martin with soloists Steven Osborne, Alwyn Mellor and Llŷr Williams will be an event to remember.

European Union Chamber Orchestra
feat. Eva Stegeman (Conductor)
Thursday 30 January 2020, 7.30pm 

At the end of the month, there’s revered multi-national European Union Chamber Orchestra (Thurs 30 Jan) for a beautiful mix of Classical elegance and Romantic sensibility. Framed between Holst’s exhilarating St Paul’s Suite for strings, and Haydn’s intensely dark 49th ‘La Passione’ Symphony is Mozart’s Rondo for Horn featuring 2016 BBC Young Musician of the Year finalist, Benjamin Goldscheider.

Iceland Symphony Orchestra
Feat. Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Piano
Thursday 13 February 2020, 7.30pm  

Then there’s the much-anticipated Welsh debut of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra (Thurs 13 Feb) as the young Reyjavik players bring Bizet and Ravel to the Hall before Prokofiev’s vivid portrait of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers in Romeo and Juliet

Armonico Consort & Baroque Orchestra
feat. Elin Manahan Thomas (Soprano)
Friday 6 March 2020, 7.30pm 

Welsh soprano, Elin Manahan Thomas shares the stage with Armonico Consort & Baroque Orchestra (Fri 6 March) for Bach’s Mass in B Minor. Composed over the final 25 years of his life and completed shortly before he died, Bach considered the Mass to be his best work. Never performed complete in his lifetime, the work is in effect Bach’s own self-obituary, and how he wanted to be remembered by the world.

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
feat. Tamsin Little (Violin)
Friday 13 March 2020, 7.30pm 

A week later, a brilliant blend of colourful drama, infectious charm and titanic strength are built into a sumptuously Romantic programme from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Fri 13 March). Brahms’ First Symphony wrestles with the whole weight of musical history and ends with one of the most sublime closing movements of any symphony. Strong rhythms also initiate Dvořák’s Violin Concerto, a melodically-rich work enclosing a beautifully eloquent slow movement – be sure to catch Tasmin Little before her retirement!

Philharmonia Orchestra
feat. Pablo Heras-Casado 

Friday 3 April 2020, 7.30pm 

The Philharmonia Orchestra (Fri 3 April) open with Rimsky-Korsakov’s ode to Spain in Capriccio Espagnol, which is a barnstorming score closing with a sizzling fandango. Flamboyance and grandeur continue in Liszt’s First Piano Concerto featuring the young Russian, Daniel Kharitonov before closing with Stravinsky’s gorgeous orchestral showpiece The Firebird.

Welsh National Opera Orchestra
Feat. David Adams (Violin)
Sunday 26 April 2020, 3pm

Conductor Tomáš Hanus and the Welsh National Opera Orchestra (Sun 26 April) return with Dvořák’s dramatic Othello Overture perfectly capturing Shakespeare’s tragic tale of love, jealousy and betrayal. A centrepiece of Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto brings soaring lyricism, whilst the concert closes with the towering structure that is Tchaikovsky’s angst-ridden Fourth Symphony.

Aurora Orchestra
feat. Nicola Benedetti CBE
Monday 18 May 2020, 7.30pm 

Beethoven re-wrote the symphonic rulebook for all time with his awe-inspiring ‘Eroica’ Symphony, and the Aurora Orchestra (Mon 18 May) tackle this work of unprecedented scale. Plus, the wonderful Nicola Benedetti CBE performs Mendelssohn’s evergreen Violin Concerto, which is work brimming with extraordinary originality and magnificent tunes.

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
feat. Sheku Kanneh-Mason (Cello)
Saturday 6 June 2020, 7.30pm 

The 2019/20 International Concert Series comes to a close with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (Sat 6 June). Hailed by The Telegraph as “technically superb and eloquent in his expressivity”, Sheku Kanneh-Mason is sure to beguile you with his artistry in Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No 1. This enticing Franco-Russian programme also includes the kaleidoscopic colours of Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances. 

If you don’t want to miss a second of this amazing orchestral action, why not become a subscriber and save up to 30% on your concert-going? Not only will you be supporting one of Europe’s finest acoustic concert halls, you’ll also be able to sit back and relax knowing a year's worth of wonderful music is stretching out in front of you! 

Alternatively, if you’ve never experienced the thrill of an orchestra at full flow, why not test the waters from as little as £10? St David’s Hall is committed to promoting orchestral and classical music to as wide an audience as possible, so this introductory price for the International Concert Series won’t break the bank. Who knows, you may just love it! 


Standard tickets are £10-£43 (plus an optional £1.50 postage fee).
A range of subscription packages and concessions are available.

 For more information, please visit the
International Concert Series 2019-20 page

or call the Box Office on 029 2087 8444. 

PLEASE NOTE: Although The Sixteen (Sun 15 Dec) and the Armonico Consort (Fri 6 Mar) are part of the International Concert Series, it does not form part of any ICS subscription packages. 


One hour before each of our ICS performances, we have a 30-minute insight into the music and context to the concert. These popular events are accessible and informative and a great way to get more from your ICS experience. 

Plus, don’t miss Dr Jonathan James’ fascinating Classical Road Maps presentations on Friday 31 October 2019 and Thursday 12 March 2020 in Lefel 1 at 6pm. These are FREE ticketed events. 


Do you love classical music, but have difficulty accessing transport services to experience live orchestral concerts at St David’s Hall?

For just £5, you can now sit back and relax on a return coach journey provided by the venue and arrive in time for the pre-concert talk at 6.30pm!

The ICS Concert Coach is a trial scheme and if successful, we aim to provide a service for several future ICS performances with additional routes added according to demand. For this trial service, the following pick-up / drop-off points are times are available:



 Llanwit Major

 Railway Station


 St Athan

 Bus stop by the cenotaph



 Opposite Spar



 Railway Station



 Police Station


 Dinas Powys

 Texaco Garage



 Town Centre (Arcade bus stop) 



 Railway Station


To book your seat on the ICS Concert Coach, please call our Box Office on 029 2087 8444 or book online by 'upgrading your experience' after selecting your seat, and adding it to the basket.

This service is only available to ICS concert ticket holders, and coach places must be booked at least 24 hours before the performance date.

Plus, as a little thank you for being one of the first to catch our ICS Concert Coach, your coach ticket entitles you to a free ice cream during the interval!  

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