Performance Tuesday, October 20, 2015 | 8 PM

Boston Symphony Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Please note that Lars Vogt replaces Paul Lewis, who has withdrawn from this performance due to recent surgery.

Expect exuberant music making when pianist Lars Vogt joins the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Andris Nelsons. The New York Times praised the balance of “powerful touch” and “limpid delicacy” of Vogt’s Beethoven; on this concert, he performs one of the master’s greatest works, the Piano Concerto No. 3. While the concerto is at times turbulent, Brahms's Symphony No. 2 is a gentler masterpiece with warm, flowing melodies and a joyous finale.


  • Boston Symphony Orchestra
    Andris Nelsons, Music Director and Conductor
  • Lars Vogt, Piano


  • SEBASTIAN CURRIER Divisions (NY Premiere)
  • BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3
  • BRAHMS Symphony No. 2

Event Duration

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


BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 (Allegro con brio)
Charles Munch, Conductor | Clara Haskil, Piano | Boston Symphony Orchestra
Music & Arts Programs of America

At a Glance

New York City–based composer Sebastian Currier’s Divisions is a Boston Symphony Orchestra co-commission with the Seattle Symphony, which gave its premiere last April, and the National Orchestra of Belgium, which requested the work as part of its commemoration of the 100th anniversary of World War I. The composer approached the commemorative aspect of the piece via multiple meanings of the word “divisions”: humankind’s frequent tendency to work at destructive cross-purposes rather than in consort; “divisions” as in groups, with its military connotations; and also as a technical musical term meaning a method of variation that involves dividing note durations into smaller and smaller values. This single-movement, 12-minute work moves from fragmentation to cohesion.

Written mostly in 1800 and premiered in 1803, Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto stands on the cusp of the composer’s “heroic” style. In his first two piano concertos, taking Mozart and Haydn as models, he had produced classically proportioned works designed to show off his already remarkable skills not only as a composer, but also as one of the day’s great pianists. The more grandly scaled C-Minor Concerto—which exhibits a symphonic breadth, setting it quite apart from the concertos of his predecessors—was apparently inspired by Mozart’s C-Minor Concerto, K. 491, which Beethoven greatly admired.

By the time Brahms released his First Symphony, his publisher had been badgering him for one for years. But once he was past the pressure of following in Beethoven’s footsteps, No. 2 came much more easily: The First was premiered in November 1876, the Second composed in the summer of 1877. And though No. 2 is typically characterized as a sunny contrast to Brahms’s turbulent First Symphony, the Second is a work of many moods, balancing the uneasy tranquility of its first two movements with the gaiety and frivolity of its third and fourth movements.
Program Notes
This performance is sponsored by Mizuho Financial Group.
This annual concert is made possible by a leadership gift from Judith B. Resnick in honor of her husband Burton and in celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary.
This performance is part of Concertos Plus.