Göteborgs Konserthus Dvorák’s colourful No. 7 and masterful trumpet

Event has already taken place. A fanciful evening with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, conductor Anja Bihlmaier and trumpet player Per Ivarsson.

Concert length: 2 h incl. intermission Scene: Stora salen
370-530 SEK Student 185-265 SEK

Event has already taken place

Antonín Dvorák’s Symphony No. 7 encompasses both exhilaration and outbursts of joy, melancholy and contemplation. In this concert it is joined on the programme by French composer André Jolivet’s fanciful Trumpet Concerto and the magical sounds of Anders Hillborg’s Sound Atlas (with the unique instrument glass harmonica!), everything conducted by Anja Bihlmaier.

Dvorák composed his seventh symphony after hearing Brahms’ Symphony No. 3, which he found to be a musical vitamin injection. But even if Dvorák drew inspiration from his mentor Brahms, who was eight years his elder, this music is completely unique and very personal. The symphony begins in a dull and mysterious manner but then blossoms into exuberant joy. The slow movement is pure and natural, the third movement is a melancholic scherzo, and the finale is a true outburst of joy.

André Jolivet’s Trumpet Concerto is charmingly melodic, sonorously piquant and masterful. This evening it is performed by Per Ivarsson, principal trumpet of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.

Trumpetaren Per Ivarsson med sin silvriga trumpet i handen.

Swedish composer Anders Hillborg has a wide field of activity – he writes orchestral, choral and chamber music as well as film music and pop music. On this occasion we meet his Sound Atlas, described by the Financial Times as: ”Music of the far expanses of the universe, haunted by the otherworldly sound of the glass harmonica. If Stanley Kubrick came back to remake 2001 and needed a soundtrack, Hillborg would be his man.” Exciting!

In connection with the concert, Friends of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra awards this year’s scholarships.


Get to know the classical pieces.

Get to know the composer Anders Hillborg.

Get to know the unique instrument glass harmonica, that are used in the piece Sound Atlas.

Introduction to the concert

Take a seat in the Great Hall one hour before the concert begins and learn more about the music you will soon experience! You will get the stories behind the music, knowledge of the composers and own reflections about the classical pieces. The introduction last for about 30 minutes, it is free and free seating in the hall. Warm welcome!


Anders Hillborg (f 1954 ) Sound Atlas Anders Hillborg's music is often both intricate and virtuosic with dazzlingly elegant orchestral treatment. This also applies to the Sound Atlas, which, although the boundaries are not exact, is divided into five sections: Crystalline, River of Glass, Vaporised Toy Pianos, Vortex and Hymn. The use of suggestive titles, and preferably with contradictory content, is recognizable from previous Hillborg works, Cold Heat, Liquid Marble. "I always try to find titles that refer to something in the music but also make you think," he says. Sound Atlas conjures up images both of a geographical area, a landscape and exploration of sounds. "Glass harmonica and microtones in the strings both play important roles in the work, which contributes to the crystalline character that is at the center of the piece's tonal world," Hillborg comments. After the introduction's journey on the river of glass, toy pianos are presented. As they gradually evaporate, the crystalline character diminishes and the music is thrown into the Vortex - a soundscape of violent, turbulent, convulsive masses of sound. Out of the powerful vortex of sound, the music rises again for a brief, crystalline moment but soon plunges back into the abyss, finally transitioning into the high-pitched string hymn that ends the piece. GÖRAN PERSSON

André Jolivet (1905-1974) Trumpet Concerto No. 2 The first movement begins with a coordinated trumpet sound, a voice that seems to be trying to make itself heard from the backstage of an old theater. The impact is immediate, as is the music that follows. Soon the soundscape is filled with percussion, pianos and brass. A rhythmically intense surge takes hold, only to soon recede again. A lone trumpet again. Like a call. The analogy may seem trite, but it works well in the case of the French composer André Jolivet. A self-taught and headstrong 20th-century composer who refused to be labeled according to one school or the other. His guiding light was humanism, he wanted to make music that served humanity. And therefore his music is primarily communicative, it is directed outwards. The trumpet concerto, which has become one of his most famous works for posterity, is a typical example. The second movement is undulating, almost hypnotic with elements of its time, jazzy, bluesy and yet firmly rooted in a French Impressionist tradition. The concluding third movement is back in the shovel-like, high-intensity flow that manifested itself in the first movement, but here without being interrupted by the mournful search of the trumpet. Instead, the percussion and strings take their place. Excerpts from something similar to a jazz suite find their way into the composition. It is done with a light hand, as only someone who knows what he or she wants to achieve can do. The concert is ramped up, and so is the tension. In the last measure, both the trumpet and the orchestra get the last word. In true humanist spirit. EDITH SÖDERSTRÖM

Intermission 25 min

It is the 1880s and the romantic era is at its peak. The orchestras have reached full-grown size and, moreover, the nationalist spirit in Europe has taken an iron grip on some of the greatest composers of the time. Under pressure or as an artistic emblem, they are encouraged to convey love for the homeland through music. For Antonin Dvorák, the 7th Symphony became the most Bohemian of all, heavily influenced by the tradition-rich region of the Czech Republic where the composer spent his summers at this time. In the third movement, the scherzot, there are swinging triple meters, calling horns and lyrical melodies that meander like rapids down the flowering slopes of Vysocina. Dvorák himself was born in a small town on the banks of the Moldau. But the advent of the symphony had anything but sunny signs. Dvorák was in mourning after his mother passed away. He was determined that the symphony "with God's help will shake the world". It shows, to say the least, in the stormy introduction, which was subtitled "From the sad years". The symphony received a warm reception at its premiere in London in 1885 and is perhaps the most revered of Dvorák's nine symphonies. The second, slow movement has been called one of the most beautiful things Dvorák ever wrote. JENNY SVENSSON


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.

Anja Bihlmaier's strong musical instinct, abundant charisma and natural leadership have propelled her to the forefront of newly established conductors, both on the symphonic and operatic stages. In 2021, she assumed the position of chief conductor of the Residentie Orkest in The Hague. Since the 2020-2021 season, Anja Bihlmaier is also the first guest conductor of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. Anja Bihlmaier is well known to the music audience in Gothenburg. She has conducted at the University of Stage and Music, at the Gothenburg Opera and the Gothenburg Symphony. With the Gothenburg Symphony, she has appeared in front of 20,000 Gothenburg citizens in Slottsskogen in 2018 and in the Scandinavium Arena at the Side by Side Music camp final in 2019. She is demanden throughout Europe and in recent years she has worked with orchestras such as the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Royal Philharmonic and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. As an opera conductor, after several years with the theaters in Hannover, Chemnitz and Kassel, she has, among other things, conducted Gounod's Faust in Trondheim. She has regularly visited the Volksoper Wien, where she has conducted Carmen, Laderlappen, The Wedding of Figaro and Henry Mason's celebrated new production of The Magic Flute.

The trumpeter Per Ivarsson has been the voice director for the trumpets in the Gothenburg Symphony since 2011. He came closest from the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, where he was recruited even before he graduated from the Karlsruhe Academy of Music, where he studied for six years. Per Ivarsson was born and raised in Malmö and started playing the trumpet when he was six years old. He later studied with Björn Lovén, with whom he later became a colleague in the Malmö Symphony Orchestra. Per Ivarsson is also a devoted chamber musician. At the Gothenburg Symphony, Per Ivarsson has, among other things, been a soloist in Jolivet's Heptade for trumpet and percussion and made recordings for GSOplay.

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Percussionist vid pukor med stockar i handen, omgiven av röd sammet.

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