One of London’s best known concert halls, opened in 1951, part of the Southbank Centre on the south side of the Thames. It was there, on 4 October 1954, that Panufnik conducted his first concert after his escape from Poland. The programme included his Heroic Overture alongside works by Beethoven and Rachmaninov.
The concert had been planned to give fullest possible exposure to a young pianist, Colin Horsley, who was to perform both Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 both in one evening. I had the impression that the soloist’s sponsor and agent engaged me at the last moment for the benefit of the box office as my escape from Poland was still newsworthy.
This concert hall witnessed many performances of Panufnik’s works, including the premières of his Sinfonia di Sfere and Sinfonia di Speranza. He also often appeared there as a conductor.