Performance Saturday, March 15, 2014 | 8 PM

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
There are few ensembles that perform defining interpretations of the central orchestral repertoire as exquisitely as the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. That sentiment is on full display in this program of classic works by Viennese composers, featuring Schubert’s tragic and consuling “Unfinished” Symphony and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, a gorgeous cornucopia of musical influences that includes folk tunes, children’s songs, café music, art songs, and even Viennese waltzes.

Please note that conductor Daniele Gatti has had to withdraw from this performance due to acute inflammation of the tendons in both shoulders.


  • Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    Christoph Eschenbach, Conductor
  • Juliane Banse, Soprano


  • SCHUBERT Symphony No. 8, "Unfinished"
  • MAHLER Symphony No. 4

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission. Please note that there will be no late seating until 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."

    Christoph Eschenbach

    In demand as a distinguished guest conductor with the finest orchestras and opera houses throughout the world, Christoph Eschenbach began his tenure in September 2010 as music director of the National Symphony Orchestra and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

    Highlights of his 2013-2014 season as a conductor include engagements in the US with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and Boston Symphony Orchestra. In Europe, he performs with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and Orchestre de Paris, NDR Symphony Orchestra, Bamberger Symphoniker, and WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln
    ,among others.

    Also this season, Mr. Eschenbach takes part in the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival. He additionally conducts Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at the Vienna State Opera and continues the Salzburg Festival's Mozart-Da Ponte cycle with Don Giovanni. In Europe, he tours with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, including the famous Summer Night Concert Schönbrunn.

    A prolific recording artist for more than five decades, Mr. Eschenbach has recorded as both a conductor and a pianist on labels that include Deutsche Grammophon, Sony/BMG, Decca, Ondine, Warner, and Koch. His Ondine recording of the music of Kaija Saariaho with the Orchestre de Paris and soprano Karita Mattila won a 2009 MIDEM Classical Award, and his recent recording with the violinist Midori and the NDR Sinfonieorchester won a 2014 Grammy Award.

    Mentored by George Szell and Herbert von Karajan, Mr. Eschenbach's past posts include chief conductor and artistic director of the Tonhalle-Orchestra Zurich from 1982 to 1986, as well as music director of the Houston Symphony from 1988 to 1999, the Ravinia Festival from 1994 to 2003, and The Philadelphia Orchestra from 2003 to 2008. His many honors include France's Légion d'honneur and Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the Officer's Cross with Star and Ribbon of the German Order of Merit, and the Commander's Cross of the German Order of Merit. He also received the Leonard Bernstein Award from the Pacific Music Festival, where he was co-artistic director from 1992 to 1998.


    More Info

  • Juliane Banse

    Juliane Banse's stage debut at age 20 as Pamina in Harry Kupfer's production of Die Zauberflöte at the Komische Oper Berlin, and her much-fêted performance as Snow White  in the premiere of the opera of the same name (Schneewittchen) by Heinz Holliger in Zurich 10 years later are prime examples of her outstanding artistic versatility. Now, Ms. Banse's operatic repertoire includes the Countess  in Le nozze di Figaro (her debut at the Salzburg Festival), Eva (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), the title role in Genoveva, Tatyana (Eugene Onegin), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), the title role in Arabella, Grete (Der ferne Klang), Vitellia (La clemenza di Tito),  and the Daughter  in Hindemith's Cardillac.  Recently, she expanded her repertoire to include Leonore (Fidelio), which she sang  under Nikolaus Harnoncourt at the Theater an der Wien. This season, Ms. Banse makes her Metropolitan Opera debut as Zdenka (Arabella) in April 2014 and performs Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus) in Chicago.

    Ms. Banse is also sought after for the concert stage. She has worked with numerous conductors of note, including Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Chailly, Bernard Haitink, Franz Welser-Möst and Mariss Jansons.

    The current season takes Ms. Banse to the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg and to London's Wigmore Hall, as well as Vienna's Konzerthaus with baritone Bo Skovhus. Her concert schedule includes performances of Dvořák's Requiem  with the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Iván Fischer and an orchestral performance of Hindemith's Cardillac with the Munich Radio Orchestra. Further engagements include appearances with the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln under Christoph Eschenbach and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Jukka-Pekka Saraste.

    Many of Ms. Banse's recordings have won prizes, including two that garnered ECHO Klassik awards: one featuring Braunfels's Jeanne D'Arc with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Manfred Honeck, and one featuring Mahler's Symphony No. 8  with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich under David Zinman. Her recording projects have also included a collection of opera arias under the title Per Amore with the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern; a recording of lieder entitled Tief in der Nacht with pianist Aleksandar Madžar; and Hunter's Bride, a film opera of Der Freischütz with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daniel Harding.

    More Info


Pre-concert talk starts at 7:00 PM in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage with Walter Frisch, Professor of Music, Columbia University.


Mahler's Symphony No. 4 (Sehr behaglich)
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra | Claudio Abbado, Conductor | Anne Sofie von Otter, Mezzo-Soprano
Deutsche Grammophon

At a Glance

This concert pairs two of the most popular and unusual symphonies by two Viennese masters. Schubert's "Unfinished" comprises only two movements, yet it is the most performed and beloved of the composer's symphonies. It has a mysterious air of completeness and perfection. No one knows why Schubert never finished it, an enigma that has increased its mystique. Mahler's Fourth is also unusual in the composer's output, but for different reasons. It lacks the bombastic special effects, disturbing deconstructions, and dark nights of the soul in his lengthier works and has lighter, more transparent scoring. Yet structurally and spiritually, it is fully characteristic, complete with folk motifs, an "uncanny" scherzo, and Viennese waltzes. Like Schubert's, Mahler's symphony is an outpouring of Viennese lyricism, especially in its slow movement.
Program Notes


Carnegie Hall's Director of Artistic Planning, Jeremy Geffen, discusses Mahler's Symphony No. 4.

Lead funding for Vienna: City of Dreams is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Part of