Göteborgs Konserthus Feel the Passion in Pathétique

Get seduced by the Gothenburg Symphony, Santtu-Matias Rouvali conductor and Olivier Latry organ.

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

Sink into the concert hall’s red armchairs and let yourself be seduced by Tchaikovsky’s 6th and final symphony, Pathétique. He put his whole soul into this work and completed it only nine days before his death. In addition, we hear Earth’s Shadow by Kaija Saariaho where the mighty concert hall organ plays a central role. 

Over time, Pyotr Tchaikovsky became one of the greatest composers of Romanticism, a master of melodies, and his works are often bursting with great emotion. The Russian subtitle of the symphony, ‘patetichesky’, means passionate. He himself considered the symphony to be his best composition and dedicated it to his nephew. The symphony begins ominously while the second movement’s five bars invite you to dance, the third bursts with joy and the last is heartbreakingly sad. 

The music from Pathétique has been used in several films, such as Scorsese’s star-studded The Aviator. Did you know that livelier parts of the symphony have also been used for morning gymnastics on Swedish Radio? 

Before the break, we hear the acclaimed Earth’s Shadow by the Finnish composer queen Kaija Saariaho, a work where organ and orchestra strive to live side by side. As Saariaho put it: “a kind of fruitful and inspiring company, where two strong but civilized personalities can coexist without having to fight too much for the place in the sun”. 

The evening’s concert is part of Gothenburg’s Organ Festival and the soloist is Olivier Latry, one of the world’s foremost organists. He was also the soloist at the premiere of Earth’s Shadow in Montréal in 2014. Olivier Latry opens the evening with an organ work in the form of a boléro, composed by the French Pierre Cochereau. Like Latry, he was once organist at Notre-Dame in Paris. 


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!


Cochereau Bolero, theme by Charles Racquet 13 min

Saariaho Earth's Shadows 15 min

Intermission 25 min

Tchaikovsky Symphony No 6 "Pathétique" 45 min

Thursday 19 October 2023: The event ends at approx. 21.30
Friday 20 October 2023: The event ends at approx. 20.00
Saturday 21 October 2023: 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 has been chief conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony. He also has a successful international conducting career and has been hailed by The Guardian as "the latest great talent in the Finnish conducting tradition that you just have to listen to". Santtu-Matias Rouvali is also chief conductor of the Tampere City Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. He has toured with the Gothenburg Symphony and pianist Hélène Grimaud in Nordic capitals as well as with pianist Alice Sara Ott and percussionist Martin Grubinger in Germany. Throughout the season 2022-2023, Santtu-Matias Rouvali continues his relationships with top level orchestras across Europe, including Berliner Philharmoniker, Wiener Symphoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Münichner Philharmoniker, as well as returning to the New York Philharmonic for his annual visits. He works with soloists including Víkingur Ólafsson, Nemanja Radulovic, Yuja Wang, Nicola Benedetti, Behzod Abduraimov, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Alice Sara Ott, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Vadim Gluzman, Randall Goosby, and Vilde Frang.

Olivier Latry orgel

Questions? Contact the ticket office
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