Performance Sunday, May 18, 2014 | 2 PM

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
The “formidable technique and dynamism” (The New York Times) of podium personality Mariss Jansons is on full display in this concert of orchestral works that run the emotional gamut. Jansons leads his Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Brahms’s pastoral Second symphony and Ligeti’s Atmosphères, evoking a sense of timelessness in a web of dense sound textures and tonality. The orchestra is also joined by Gil Shaham for Berg’s Violin Concerto, which combines tonal style with 12-tone technique to examine life, death, and transfiguration.


  • Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Mariss Jansons, Chief Conductor
  • Gil Shaham, Violin


  • LIGETI Atmosphères
  • BERG Violin Concerto
  • BRAHMS Symphony No. 2

  • Encore:
  • LIGETI Concert Românesc

Event Duration

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


  • Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

    Soon after it was founded by Eugen Jochum in 1949, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra developed into an internationally renowned orchestra. Its fame continues to expand through intensive touring activities, including visits to almost every country in Europe, Asia, and South America, as well as the US.

    The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra numbers among the top 10 orchestras of the world, according to rankings by several international music magazines. For many years, it was the only German orchestra with which Leonard Bernstein regularly collaborated.

    The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra has an extraordinarily wide ranging repertoire and sound spectrum. This is not only attributed to the great flexibility of the musicians, but also to the orchestra's previous chief conductors-Eugen Jochum, Rafael Kubelík, Sir Colin Davis, and Lorin Maazel-and many renowned guest conductors, from Carlos Kleiber, Sir Georg Solti, and Carlo Maria Giulini in the past, to Riccardo Muti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Andris Nelsons, and Sir Simon Rattle today.

    Promoting contemporary music has been a long tradition of the orchestra through its appearances in conjunction with the Musica Viva series founded in 1945. These legendary performances have often been conducted by the composers themselves, including Igor Stravinsky, Paul Hindemith, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Peter Eötvös. Early music concerts include collaborations with experts in historical performance practice, including Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Ton Koopman.

    In October 2003, Mariss Jansons became chief conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. He continues to expand the orchestra's discography, including the recording of Shostakovich's 13th Symphony, which won the Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance in 2006. Since 2009, the orchestra has been releasing CDs and DVDs on Bavarian Broadcasting's own label, BR-Klassik, earning many important national and international prizes.

    Mariss Jansons

    Mariss Jansons ranks among the most outstanding conductors of our time, regularly performing with the world's major orchestras at venues and festivals such as Salzburg, Lucerne, BBC Proms, and Edinburgh. He is not only recognized worldwide for his concerts, touring activities, and television and radio broadcasts, but also for his numerous recordings, many of which have received prestigious international prizes, including a Grammy Award in 2006.

    Following an early association with the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, Mr. Jansons was chief conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra (1979-2000) and music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (1997-2004). He currently holds the prestigious position of chief conductor at both the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. With both orchestras, he has appeared at all the world's most important musical centers. His touring engagements have taken him to Japan, China, Australia, South America, and the US.

    Mr. Jansons regularly conducts some of the greatest orchestras in the world, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Boston and Chicago symphony orchestras.

    For his outstanding achievements and profound contribution to cultural life, Mariss Jansons was honored with the Ernst von Siemens Musikpreis in January 2013, the Medal of Merit of St. Petersburg in March 2013, the German Federal Cross of Merit with Star in October 2013, and the Knight of the Lion of the Netherlands in November 2013.

    More Info

  • Gil Shaham

    Gil Shaham is one of the foremost violinists of our time. His combination of flawless technique and inimitable warmth has solidified his legacy as an American master. Highlights of his 2013-2014 season include performances of Korngold's Violin Concerto with The Cleveland Orchestra and Orchestre de Paris; a continuation of his exploration of the concertos of the 1930s with the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and on tour with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; the world, Asian, and European premieres of a new concerto by Bright Sheng; and a recital tour that features Bach's sonatas and partitas for solo violin.

    Mr. Shaham has more than two dozen concerto and solo CDs to his name, including bestsellers that have appeared on record charts in the US and abroad, winning him multiple Grammy Awards, a Grand Prix du Disque, a Diapason d'Or, and a Gramophone Editor's Choice award. His recent recordings are produced by the Canary Classics label, which he founded in 2004; they comprise Nigunim: Hebrew Melodies, Haydn violin concertos and Mendelssohn's Octet with the Sejong Soloists, Sarasate: Virtuoso Violin Works, Elgar's Violin Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Butterfly Lovers and Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio in A Minor with Yefim Bronfman and Truls Mørk, The Prokofiev Album, The Fauré Album, Mozart in Paris, and works by Haydn and Mendelssohn.

    Mr. Shaham was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1990, and in 2008 he received the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. He plays the 1699 "Countess Polignac" Stradivarius. He lives in New York City with his wife, violinist Adele Anthony, and their three children.

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Brahms's Symphony No. 2 (Allegretto grazioso (quasi andantino))
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra | Maris Jansons, Conductor
Br Klassik

At a Glance

This afternoon's concert opens with two modern and contemporary masterpieces that are now part of the orchestral repertoire. Ligeti's Atmosphères is a technical experiment, but it has an aura of spellbinding mystery that has continued to seduce audiences long since its celebrated appearance in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Berg's Violin Concerto, with its haunting lyricism, is an atonal work for those who normally dislike atonal music. He wrote it for Manon Gropius in 1935, the daughter of architect Walter Gropius and his wife Alma, the former wife of Mahler, who died tragically at age 18 and whom Berg loved as his own child. The concert concludes with Brahms's Second Symphony-the most mellow and spontaneous of his four, yet written with the composer's characteristic formal rigor.
Program Notes