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Oslo, Den Norske Opera Gothenburg Symphony plays in Oslo

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra on tour with chief conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali and violinist Leonidas Kavakos.

Concert length: 2 h incl. intermission

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra plays in Oslo together with chief conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali and violinist Leonidas Kavakos.

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



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

Sunday 26 May 2024: The event ends at approx. 20.00


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

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Holst The Planets
24 May 18.00

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

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