Performance Thursday, March 13, 2014 | 8 PM

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
In 1883, Brahms’s Third Symphony made its triumphant premiere in Vienna with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The storied ensemble returns to Carnegie Hall to perform that glowing work, this time under the baton of up-and-coming Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons—“the next big thing among young conductors” (The New York Times). The program also includes additional works by Brahms and Haydn.


  • Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    Andris Nelsons, Conductor


  • HAYDN Symphony No. 90 in C Major
  • BRAHMS Variations on a Theme by Haydn in B-flat Major, Op. 56a
  • BRAHMS Symphony No. 3

  • Encore:
  • J. STRAUSS JR. "Seid umschlungen Millionen": Waltz, Op. 443

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.


  • Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

    There is perhaps no other musical ensemble more consistently and closely associated with the history and tradition of European classical music than the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (VPO). In the course of its 172-year history, the musicians of this most prominent orchestra of the capital city of music have been an integral part of a musical epoch that-thanks to an abundance of uniquely gifted composers and interpreters-must certainly be regarded as unique. Additionally, the orchestra's extensive touring schedule, prolific recordings, and global television broadcasts allow its artistry to be experienced around the world.

    The orchestra's close association with this rich musical history is best illustrated by the statements of countless preeminent musical personalities of the past. Richard Wagner described the orchestra as being one of the most outstanding in the world; Anton Bruckner called it "the most superior musical association"; Johannes Brahms counted himself a "friend and admirer"; Gustav Mahler claimed to be joined together through "the bonds of musical art"; and Richard Strauss summarized these sentiments by saying, "All praise of the Vienna Philharmonic reveals itself as understatement."

    The Vienna State Opera Orchestra holds a special relationship with the private association known as the Vienna Philharmonic. In accordance with Philharmonic statutes, only a member of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra can become a member of the Vienna Philharmonic. The engagement in the Vienna State Opera Orchestra provides the musicians a financial stability that would be impossible to attain without relinquishing their autonomy to private or corporate sponsors. Over the course of more than a century and a half, this chosen path of democratic self-administration has experienced slight modifications, but has never been substantially altered. The foremost ruling body of the organization is the orchestra itself.

    The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra's mission is to communicate the humanitarian message of music into the daily lives and consciousness of its listeners. For more than a decade, the VPO has given benefit concerts in support of humanitarian causes around the world, and since 1999, it makes an annual donation of 100,000 Euros from its New Year's Concert to a variety of international charitable organizations. In 2005, the orchestra was named Goodwill Ambassador for the World Health Organization, and has served as an official Goodwill Ambassador for IIASA (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis) since 2012. As of November 2008, Rolex is the worldwide presenting sponsor of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The musicians endeavor to implement the motto with which Ludwig van Beethoven, whose symphonic works served as a catalyst for the creation of the orchestra, prefaced his Missa solemnis: "From the heart, to the heart."

    Andris Nelsons

    Andris Nelsons is the newly appointed music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, beginning with the 2014-2015 season. He will serve as music director designate for the 2013-2014 season. This new appointment confirms Mr. Nelsons as one of the most sought-after conductors on the international scene today-a distinguished name on both the opera and concert podiums.

    Mr. Nelsons has been music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) since 2008, and will remain at the helm of that orchestra until summer 2015. With the CBSO, he undertakes major tours worldwide, including regular appearances at such festivals as the Lucerne Festival, BBC Proms, and Berliner Festspiele, as well as at major European venues that include the Musikverein in Vienna, Paris's Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, the Gasteig in Munich, and the Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid. He made his Japan debut on a tour with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Nelsons is a regular guest conductor at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Vienna State Opera; and the Metropolitan Opera. In summer 2014, he returns to the Bayreuth Festival for Lohengrin.

    Mr. Nelsons and the CBSO are currently recording the complete orchestral works by Tchaikovsky and Strauss for Orfeo International. Many of Mr. Nelsons's additional recordings have won awards that include the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik; in October 2011, he received the prestigious ECHO Klassik award for Conductor of the Year for his recording with the CBSO of Stravinsky's Firebird and Symphony of Psalms. In addition, he has an exclusive agreement with Unitel GmbH for audiovisual recordings; the most recent release is a disc with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra entitled From the New World, featuring works by Dvořák.

    Born in Riga in 1978 into a family of musicians, Mr. Nelsons began his career as a trumpeter in the Latvian National Opera Orchestra before studying conducting. He was principal conductor of the North West German Philharmonic in Herford, Germany, from 2006 to 2009, and music director of the Latvian National Opera from 2003 to 2007.

    More Info


Brahms's Symphony No. 3 (Andante)
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra | Leonard Bernstein, Conductor
Deutsche Grammophon

At a Glance

This concert presents three masterpieces in the Viennese classical tradition, including two symphonies and an homage to the tradition's founder, Joseph Haydn. The symphonies, Haydn's 90th and Brahms's Third, are mature works that represent models of subtlety and craftsmanship, so much so that they are less performed than other, more grandstanding symphonies in these composers' canons. Brahms's colorful Variations on a Theme by Haydn, on the other hand, is an enormously popular piece, though it too has the qualities of order and symmetry one expects in a Viennese classical work.
Program Notes


Carnegie Hall's Director of Artistic Planning, Jeremy Geffen, discusses Brahms's Symphony No. 3.

Carnegie Hall's Director of Artistic Planning, Jeremy Geffen, discusses Haydn's Symphony No. 90.

Morgan Stanley event page
Sponsored by Morgan Stanley
Lead funding for Vienna: City of Dreams is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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