Göteborgs Konserthus Holst The Planets

A colorful musical adventure with the Gothenburg Symphony, Santtu-Matias Rouvali conductor and Leonidas Kavakos violin. Lighting design: Mikki Kunttu.

Concert length: 2 h incl. intermission Scene: Stora salen
380-540 SEK Student 190-270 SEK Youth up to 29 190-270 SEK

Gustav Holst’s colorful suite The Planets is a musical adventure and one of the world’s most beloved symphonic works. No one is left untouched when Mars, Jupiter and Saturn align. All enhanced by evocative lighting design. A final evening which is opened by star violinist Leonidas Kavakos.

Santtu-Matias Rouvali leads the Gothenburg Symphony in Gustav Holst’s Planeterna, one of the world’s most beloved and performed symphonic works. At this concert, the experience is enhanced with custom-made lighting design made by Mikki Kunttu.

British composer Gustav Holst’s fascinating, adventurous and colorful suite The Planets sounds like pure film music. But he was ahead of his time, because in 1916 the sound film did not yet exist and silent film music was usually played on the piano. It is quite clear, however, that The Planets has inspired many later film music composers, not least John Williams, whose Star Wars suite in many ways drew its dramatic material from here.

But it’s not really a space adventure. What inspired Holst was his great interest in astrology and each sentence describes human traits.

The evening begins with Tchaikovsky’s famous violin concerto with star violinist Leonidas Kavakos, a real crowd favorite.

Leonidas Kavakos med violinen i handen.

Thanks to generous support from the Sten A Olsson Foundation, we get to experience Leonidas Kavakos in this concert.


Get to know the classical pieces.

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!


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) Violin Concerto Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D major was composed in 1878 during a stay at a spa on Lake Geneva in an attempt by the composer to come to terms with a depression that had long crippled his writing. It is the Russian romantic's only violin concerto, yet it is one of the most well-known and beloved in the Western classical repertoire. It is easy to listen to and has a pleasant sound without, for that matter, falling into the predictable. Tchaikovsky was greatly influenced by the German romantic school, which advocated the beauty of music over a strictly formalized composition procedure, which is evident in his letter correspondence from the same period. The fact that it was a violin concert instead of, say, a symphony, was due to a dear visit by a certain Iosif Kotek, Tchaikovsky's composition student as well as violinist. The two were very close and the young man's mere presence at the Swiss spa helped Tchaikovsky out of his lock-up and inspired the well-known notes we know as the Violin Concerto. The concerto opens with an almost 20 minute long, dynamic and ever-changing Allegro moderato where the famous main theme is exposed, followed by a much shorter and wistfully sweet wind movement that is as fine-tuned as it is languid to end with a ten-minute dramatic finale which elegantly ties the piece together thematic flora.

Intermission 25 min

Holst The Planets 52 min

Friday 24 May 2024: The event ends at approx. 20.00
Saturday 25 May 2024: The event ends at approx. 17.00


The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1905 and currently consists of 109 musicians. The orchestra is based in Gothenburg Concert Hall – a gem of functionalism on Götaplatsen square that has enchanted music lovers since 1935. Wilhelm Stenhammar was the orchestra’s Chief Conductor from 1907 until 1922. He gave the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra a strong Nordic profile and invited his colleagues Carl Nielsen and Jean Sibelius to collaborate with the orchestra. Under the leadership of Chief Conductor Neeme Järvi between 1982 and 2004, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra undertook a number of international tours and made a hundred or so album recordings while establishing itself as one of Europe’s foremost orchestras. In 1997 the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra received the title of the National Orchestra of Sweden. Since season 2017-2018 Santtu-Matias Rouvali is Chief Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. Since season 2019-2020 Barbara Hannigan is Principal Guest Conductor. Christoph Eschenbach was also Principal Guest Conductor of Gothenburg Symphony in the years 2019-2022 – together they formed a strong three-leaf clover consisting of three completely different types of artists. We are also extremely proud to be an official partner of soprano Barbara Hannigan’s mentor initiative Equilibrium, with focus on young singers and musicians who are just beginning their careers. Sten Cranner is the orchestra’s CEO and Artistic Director, while Gustavo Dudamel holds the title of Honorary Conductor and Neeme Järvi that of Principal Conductor Emeritus. Region Västra Götaland is owner of the orchestra. The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra works regularly with conductors such as Herbert Blomstedt, Joana Carneiro, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Christian Zacharias and Anja Bihlmaier.

Since 2017, Santtu-Matias Rouvali is the chief conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. He also has a successful international career as a conductor and has been hailed by The Guardian as "the Finnish conductor tradition's senesta stortade påvning man bara muste lysna på". Since 2021, Santtu-Matias Rouvali is also the chief conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. He has toured with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and pianist Hélène Grimaud in Nordic capitals as well as with pianist Alice Sara Ott and percussionist Martin Grubinger in Germany. The years 2013-2022 Santtu-Matias Rouvali was chief conductor and artistic director of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra in Finland. During the 2023-2024 season, Santtu-Matias Rouvali will continue to collaborate with orchestras at the top level throughout Europe and the USA, such as the BBC Proms, the New York Philharmonic and many more. He collaborates with soloists such as Leif Ove Andsnes, Arabella Steinbacher, Nemanja Radulovic, Leonidas Kavakos, Bruce Liu, Alice Sara Ott, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Vadim Gluzman, Randall Goosby and Vilde Frang. When he is not conducting, he devotes himself to farming and fishing at his farm outside Tampere.

Leonidas Kavakos violin

Mikki Kunttu lightdesign

Questions? Contact the ticket office
Read more in the blog

3 May 2023 Låt oss växa tillsammans

Våra företagspartners spelar en avgörande roll. Med musiken som förenande kraft gör vi Västra Götaland till en starkare och mer inkluderande region – tillsammans.

Feel the Passion in Pathétique
19 Oct 19.30

Get seduced by the Gothenburg Symphony, Santtu-Matias Rouvali conductor, Olivier Latry organ, Roger Carlsson and Walter Witick percussion.

Purchase tickets
Verdi's Requiem
27 Oct 18.00

Feel the power of one of history's most powerful choir pieces! With the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Choir, Andrés Orozco-Estrada conductor, Christina Nilsson soprano, Katarina Karnéus mezzosoprano, Adam Frandsen tenor and Tareq Nazmi basso.

Purchase tickets
Beethoven, Byström & Brahms
8 Nov 19.30

Music by classical masters on B with the Gothenburg Symphony and Andrew Manze conductor.

Purchase tickets
Hugo Alfvén with the Gothenburg Opera
16 Nov 19.30

A dear visit from the Gothenburg Opera orchestra, Thomas Dausgaard conductor, Ida Falk Winland soprano and Adam Frandsen tenor.

Purchase tickets
Pekka Kuusisto and The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra
25 Nov 15.00

The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra is known for its empathetic performances, now with the charismatic Pekka Kuusisto as artistic director of the orchestra.

Purchase tickets
String Festival in Winter Time
21 Jan 18.00

Musicians from the Gothenburg Symphony offer Strauss's last opera, Nancy Dalberg's passionate string quartet and eager conversation for viola and violin composed by Clarke and Mozart.

Purchase tickets
Star Night in a Finnish mode
16 Feb 18.00

Border crossing with the Gothenburg Symphony, Tarmo Peltokoski conductor and Senja Rummukainen cello.

Purchase tickets
Nordic - A Fragile Hope
21 Feb 19.30

Unique projections in a rich concert experience created by the Gothenburg Symphony, film and photojournalist Joakim Odelberg and director Andrea Östlund.

Purchase tickets
Hannigan's Sunday
10 Mar 18.00

A nice Sunday evening filled with emotional music with Barbara Hannigan and musicians from the Gothenburg Symphony.

Purchase tickets
Out of the Ashes Towards the Top
13 Mar 19.30

Empowering music with the Gothenburg Symphony and conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali.

Purchase tickets
Modern Classic and a Beloved Piano Piece
24 Apr 19.30

Virtuose playing with the Gothenburg Symphony, Santtu-Matias Rouvali conductor and Bruce Liu piano, and Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.

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

Experience the concert magic!

Every note taken has the power to set in motion a movement in the atmosphere, with power to carry through generations. Discover the concerts of the season and let us create lasting impressions together.

Discover the concerts of the season