Where would we be without heroes? Count Egmont would, after his beheading, come to symbolise moderation and tolerance – ideals which Beethoven identified with fully.

Like Beethoven, Fazil Say uses his compositions to cast a critical eye on social and political events. Never Give Up is a cry for freedom and peace, written after the shocking terrorist attacks in Europe and Turkey.

Richard Strauss, for his part, depicted himself as a hero in Ein Heldenleben, presenting his own artistic life story in a very personal and emotional testimony.


Ludwig van Beethoven • Egmont overture, op. 84
Fazil Say • Cello Concerto ‘Never Give Up’ (2017)
Richard Strauss
• Ein Heldenleben, op. 40



Stéphane Denève


Stéphane Denève is the music director of the Brussels Philharmonic. This top French conductor designs his programmes combining 21st century music with the great classics, thereby opening up a dialogue between the repertoire of the past and that of the future.

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Camille Thomas, cello

soloist read biography

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