Göteborgs Konserthus Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 15 and a new Marimba Concerto

Playfully passionate with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, conductor Andris Poga and marimba soloist Mika Takehara.

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

Shostakovich’s Fifteenth Symphony was also his last. The music is both tricky and playful and is full of quotations from Rossini and Wagner as well as his own earlier works. Although Shostakovich was very sick when he composed this symphony, he was determined to have fun with it. In the lively first movement we hear, among other things, the well known William Tell Overture from Rossini’s opera, but a skewed and unpredictable world also lurks beneath the surface.

Shostakovich’s piece was written in what was then Russia and the Soviet Union, marked by anything but freedom of opinion, and contemporary research indicates that he was critical of his own contemporary oppression and used his artistry as an expression of this, although the rulers then chose a different interpretation. Experiencing this music now, with that knowledge, can add an additional dimension beyond the purely musical.

In this evening’s concert, Shostakovich’s symphony has company in the form of the premiere of Johannes Jansson’s Marimba Concerto. The composer lived in southern India for several years, a period that came to mean a lot to him, both as a person and as an artist. His music is sometimes filled with unbridled power and condensed energy, but it is also incredibly beautiful. He describes the Marimba Concerto being premiered this evening as ”a poetic journey”. Mika Takehara is the soloist who, for the first time ever, takes her place at the marimba, together with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, to play this piece of music for an audience. A world premiere!

The evening commences with the fiery Musica appassionata by Latvian composer Peteris Vasks. This piece clearly and resolutely claims its place or, as Vasks would say: ”Clear the stage for my passion!”. Just as the dynamic pinnacle is reached, everything suddenly stops, and all that remains is contemplation and a quiet prayer.


Get to know the classical pieces

Get to know Mika Takehara.

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! A musician from the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra gives you the stories behind the music, knowledge of the composers and own reflections on what it is like to play the classical pieces. The introduction last for about 30 minutes, it is free and free seating in the hall. Warm welcome!


Vasks Musica appassionata 18 min

J Jansson Marimba Concerto 28 min

Intermission 25 min

Shostakovich Symphony No. 15 42 min


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.

Andris Poga conductor

Mika Takehara marimba

Questions? Contact the ticket office
24 Sep 19.00

A holistic experience with projections, lighting, surround sound and scenography created by Lisa Nordström with musicians from Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. The Pioneer concept brings you contemporary music in experimental combinations.

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