Event has already taken placeGet your ticket for a Gothenburg premiere: Sibelius’ Dance Intermezzo will be performed in our city’s Concert Hall for the very first time!
An elegant little jewel originally composed for a dance choreography entitled A Fig Tree: Dreams of a Palm Tree at a 1904 charity event in Helsinki.
Sibelius published the work together with ‘The Dryad’ from 1910, a five-minute “symphonic poem” depicting three wood nymphs through shifting timbres and temperaments that has been called one of Sibelius’ most unique orchestral works.
Santtu-Matias Rouvali’s friend and colleague Marko Ylönen then treats us to more contemporary Finnish music with traces of Bartók and Shostakovich when he plays Jonas Kokkonen’s cello concerto from 1969 – a symphonically arranged concerto that lets the cello break free and even lead the way at times. Ylönen performs two lovely yet challenging solos in this atmospheric concerto by orchestral genius Kokkonen, one of Finland’s leading symphonists besides Sibelius.
“Anyone with ears can spot the American influence,” Antonin Dvorák said about his ninth symphony, From The New World, which he composed during his time as Director of the National Conservatory in New York (1892-1895). Attentive listeners may detect echoes of spirituals as well as the kind of country tunes and revival songs traditionally sung by farmers and European settlers in the frontier lands. The symphony is the work of an experienced composer: not a single note is superfluous, the work’s structure is clear as glass, its proportions perfect, as Dvorák parades one captivating theme after another in front of us. Sheer musical extasy!
No introduction to the concert
In the autumn of 2021, we will not give any introductions to the concerts due to the pandemic. Comments on the current programme for this particular concert can be found in connection with the names of the works under the heading Programme on this page (in swedish). You will get even more angles and keys to classical music in the concert magazine Podiet (in swedish) and the lecture series Classical Curiosities at GSOplay (in english).
The previously announced première of Daníel Bjarnason’s percussion concerto with Martin Grubinger has been moved to 8-9 December.
Kokkonen Cello Concerto
Dvorák Symphony No 9 "From the New World"
The Gothenburg Symphony, called "one of the world's most formidable orchestras" by the Guardian, has toured the USA, Europe, Japan and the Far East and performed at major music centres and festivals throughout the world. Chief conductor is Santtu-Matias Rouvali who started his tenure in 2017. Barbara Hannigan and Christoph Eschenbach are principal guest conductors since 2019.
Already at the orchestra's very first years, the great Swedish composer Wilhelm Stenhammar was appointed principal conductor, contributing strongly to the Nordic profile of the orchestra by inviting his colleagues Carl Nielsen and Jean Sibelius to conduct their own works. Subsequent holders of the post include Sergiu Comissiona, Sixten Ehrling and Charles Dutoit. During Neeme Järvi's tenure (1982-2004), the orchestra became a major international force. In 1997 it was appointed the National Orchestra of Sweden. During his celebrated tenure as music director (2007-2012), Gustavo Dudamel took the Orchestra to major music centres and festivals in Europe, making acclaimed appearances at BBC Proms and Vienna Musikverein.
The list of prominent guest conductors has included Wilhelm Furtwängler, Pierre Monteux, Herbert von Karajan, Myung-Whun Chung, Herbert Blomstedt and Sir Simon Rattle. The orchestra also runs extensive concert projects for children, and regularly releases digital live concerts free on gsoplay.se. The orchestra has been involved in many prestigious recording projects, the latest one the complete Sibelius Symphonies with Santtu-Matias Rouvali for Alpha Classics. Earlier, the orchestra has issued over 100 recordings on BIS, Deutsche Grammophon, Chandos, Farao Classics and several other labels. The Gothenburg Symphony is owned by the Region Västra Götaland.
Santtu-Matias Rouvali Conductor
Hailed by The Guardian as "the latest sit-up-and-listen talent to emerge from the great Finnish conducting tradition," the 2018/19 season will see Santtu-Matias Rouvali continuing his positions as Chief Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony and Principal Guest Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra, alongside his longstanding Chief Conductor-ship with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra close to his home in Finland.
Rouvali has regular relationships with several orchestras across Europe, including the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Bamberger Symphoniker and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. As well as making his debut with the Münchner Philharmoniker this season, he also returns to North America for concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra and Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Following a very successful Nordic tour with Hélène Grimaud last season, the Gothenburg Symphony is back on the road in February 2019 for a tour hitting major centres in Germany and Austria with pianist Alice Sara Ott, and percussionist Martin Grubinger who premieres a new percussion concert by Daníel Bjarnason. Rouvali looks forward to other ambitious touring projects with his orchestras in the future, including appearances in North America and Japan.
In addition to the extensive tour, Rouvali's season in Gothenburg opens with Strauss' Alpine Symphony accompanied by Víkingur Ólafsson Mozart Piano Concerto No.24, and he looks forward to collaborations with Janine Jansen, Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Baiba Skride throughout the rest of the season.
As another cornerstone to his tenure in Gothenburg, he is adding his mark to the Orchestra's impressive recording legacy. In partnership with Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and violinist Baiba Skride, a recording featuring concertos from Bernstein, Korngold and Rozsa is released in autumn 2018.This continues his great collaboration with Baiba Skride following their hugely successful recording of Nielsen and Sibelius' violin concertos with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra in summer 2015.
Rouvali has been Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra since 2013. Highlights of the tenure so far include a Sibelius symphony cycle in autumn 2015, and the Orchestra's first tour to Japan in spring 2017 where they were accompanied by an exhibition of original Moomin drawings by Tove Jansson to mark the opening of the new museum at the Tampere Hall. He opens the 2018/19 season with a Beethoven programme with pianist Javier Perianes.
Alongside an extremely busy symphonic conducting career, as Chief Conductor in Tampere he has conducted Verdi's La forza del destino and most recently world premiere of Olli Kortekangas's My Brother's Keeper (Veljeni vartija) with Tampere Opera in spring 2018.