This first Culture Club excursion of the year was to the Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall to hear the beautiful sound of the London Philarmonia Orchestra, playing Dvořák's Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95, From the New World as the main symphony. Once we arrived at Waterloo station we split off to find somewhere to get dinner. I don't think there have ever been so many Challoner's boys in one Nando's restaurant at the same time!

Once dinner we reconvened to collect our tickets and then headed off into the Southbank centre. Our seats were located in the choir stalls, behind the orchestra which gave us a phenomenal view of the three-tiered auditorium and also a view of the energetic conductor Krzysztof Urbański. Two pieces were played in the first half, including Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1, with 19-year old pianist Jan Lisiecki. After this piece the applause continued for such a length of time that he returned and gave us another Chopin piece by himself.

The main symphony in the second half was absolutely extraordinary, lasting 43 minutes and with an applause afterwards that lasted well over five minutes. Such a stunning location for a stunning evening out. We eagerly look forward to the Marriage of Figaro on 14th November.