Performance Wednesday, November 19, 2014 | 8 PM

San Francisco Symphony

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 is one of the composer’s most fanciful works. It’s a magical five-movement masterpiece that’s mysterious, nostalgic, and humorous in its boisterous finale. Scored for a massive orchestra that includes cowbells, mandolin, and guitar, Mahler’s symphony takes the listener on one of the great orchestral journeys.


  • San Francisco Symphony
    Michael Tilson Thomas, Music Director and Conductor


  • MAHLER Symphony No. 7


Mahler's Symphony No. 7 in E Minor
San Francisco Symphony | Michael Tilson Thomas, Conductor
San Francisco Symphony

At a Glance

Mahler began composing his Seventh Symphony during the unusually productive summer of 1904, just after completing his Sixth. He started with the two evocative “Night Music” movements, which eventually became the second and fourth of the five-movement piece. He found himself creatively blocked when he tried to pick up the thread the next summer, but eventually a solution came that allowed him to quickly compose the remaining three movements.

The last of Mahler’s trilogy of purely instrumental middle-period symphonies, the Seventh has long been considered one of his most poetic—but also elusive—compositions. Unlike the overt programs and scattered clues he provided for most of his earlier symphonies, Mahler said little about this eclectic and fascinating piece, leaving a wide range of interpretation open to performers and audiences alike.
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Sponsored by DeWitt Stern Group, Inc.
This performance is part of Great American Orchestras II.