Performance Wednesday, February 11, 2015 | 8 PM

Danish National Symphony Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Sibelius’s Violin Concerto bustles with a restless energy, opening with a hair-raising cadenza that’s a virtuosic high-wire act for the soloist. “Music is life, and like it, inextinguishable,” Nielsen wrote on the score of his “Inextinguishable” Symphony. It’s an intense orchestral journey from despair to victory, featuring a dramatic duel between two sets of timpani in the final section before the triumphant finale.


  • Danish National Symphony Orchestra
    Cristian Macelaru, Conductor
  • Anne-Sophie Mutter, Violin


  • SIBELIUS Valse triste
  • SIBELIUS Violin Concerto
  • NIELSEN Symphony No. 4, "The Inextinguishable"

  • Encores:
  • BACH Sarabande from Partita No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004
  • NIELSEN Overture to Masquerade

Event Duration

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


  • Danish National Symphony Orchestra

    The Danish National Symphony Orchestra was founded as a radio orchestra in 1925 in connection with the launch of the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR), and consists today of 105 musicians. The orchestra is based in the DR Concert Hall, one of Europe's most spectacular concert halls, which was inaugurated in 2009. The Concert Hall was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel and its acoustics were designed by Yasuhisa Toyota.

    The orchestra's strong, straightforward musical personality has its roots in its close links with Danish and other Nordic music. It is the world's leading proponent of Carl Nielsen's music, which it often takes on tours abroad.

    The orchestra recently appointed Fabio Luisi as its next principal conductor. Mr. Luisi is one of today's most coveted maestros and has received a number of Grammy Awards for his recordings. He is currently general music director of the Zurich Opera and principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera.

    From 2012 to 2014, the orchestra's chief conductor was Spanish maestro Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos. Previous chief conductors have included Gerd Albrecht, Ulf Schirmer, Leif Segerstam, and Lamberto Gardelli. The orchestra's two honorary conductors are Thomas Dausgaard (chief conductor from 2004 to 2011) and Herbert Blomstedt (chief conductor from 1967 to 1977). Its principal guest conductors have included Yuri Temirkanov, Michael Schønwandt, and Dmitri Kitajenko.

    Two legendary conductors built the orchestra up in its early years: Fritz Busch and Nicolai Malko, whom the orchestra honors every three years with the international Malko Competition for young conductors.

    The orchestra has performed under many of history's greatest conductors, including Bruno Walter, Eugene Ormandy, Leopold Stokowski, Sergiu Celibidache, Christoph Eschenbach, and Kurt Sanderling. Furthermore, it has collaborated with composers-as soloists and conductors-such as Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Hindemith, Boulez, Lutosławski, Stockhausen, and Henze.


    Cristian Mǎcelaru

    Winner of the 2014 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, Cristian Măcelaru has established himself as one of the fast-rising stars of the conducting world. With every concert, he displays exciting presence, thoughtful interpretations, and energetic conviction on the podium. Mr. Măcelaru came to public attention in February 2012, when he conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as a replacement for Pierre Boulez in performances that were met with critical acclaim. Since his Chicago debut, he has conducted that orchestra for subscription concerts in three consecutive seasons.

    Recently appointed conductor-in-residence of The Philadelphia Orchestra, Mr. Măcelaru made an unexpected subscription debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra in April 2013. Since then, he has conducted the orchestra in two further subscription programs and will lead two programs this season. Replacing the Danish National Symphony Orchestra's late chief conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Mr. Măcelaru will have the honor of conducting the ensemble in Denmark and on a German and US tour in January and February 2015.

    This season, Mr. Măcelaru also returns to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and makes subscription debuts with the Toronto, Baltimore, Houston, St. Louis, Seattle, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis symphony orchestras in North America; the UK's Hallé Orchestra and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; and The Hague's Residentie Orkest in the Netherlands.

    An accomplished violinist, Mr. Măcelaru was the youngest concertmaster in the history of the Miami Symphony Orchestra and made his Carnegie Hall debut with that ensemble at age 19. He received the 2012 Sir Georg Solti Emerging Conductor Award, awarded only once before in the foundation's history. He participated in conducting programs of the Tanglewood Music Center and Aspen Music Festival and School, studying under David Zinman, Murry Sidlin, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Robert Spano, Oliver Knussen, and Stefan Asbury. Mr. Măcelaru resides in Philadelphia with his wife, Cheryl, and children, Beniamin and Maria.


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  • Anne-Sophie Mutter

    Anne-Sophie Mutter has been recognized as one of the world's greatest violinists for more than 35 years. A four-time GrammyAward winner, Ms. Mutter has been a champion of contemporary music throughout her career, and her current tally of world premiere performances includes 22 compositions. She has had works composed for her by composers who include Sebastian Currier, Henri Dutilleux, Sofia Gubaidulina, Witold Lutosławski, Norbert Moret, Krzysztof Penderecki, André Previn, and Wolfgang Rihm.

    In the 2014-2015 season, Ms. Mutter curates a six-concert series at Carnegie Hall as a Perspectives artist; makes guest appearances with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Berliner Philharmoniker, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and London Symphony Orchestra; and tours with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Nacional de España, New World Symphony, and Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra. In addition, she embarks on a six-city tour with the Mutter-Bronfman-Harrell Trio to Montreal, New York, Northridge (California), Santa Barbara, Costa Mesa, and Sonoma, and joins her string ensemble, the Mutter Virtuosi, on its first North American tour to Chicago, Toronto, Atlanta, Naples, Kansas City, and Washington, DC.

    Ms. Mutter has long used her public profile to support and promote charitable causes, notably those associated with the alleviation of medical and socialproblems. Her benefit concerts-which number 62 to date-have raised funds for ahost of organizations worldwide. Ms. Mutter's many awards and honors reflect the nature of her humanitarian work as well as the excellence of her artistry. She received the prestigious Ernst von Siemens Music Prize in 2008, the Legion of Honour in 2009 for services to contemporary French music, and the 2011 Erich-Fromm-Preis for the advancement of humanism through social engagement. Additional honors include the Merit Cross 1st Class of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Mendelssohn and Brahms prizes, the Herbert von Karajan Music Prize, and the Bavarian Order of Merit. In 2013, Ms. Mutter was inductedinto the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as a Foreign Honorary Member, and in January 2015, she was named an Honorary Fellow at Oxford University's Keble College.

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Sibelius's Violin Concerto (Allegro moderato)
Anne-Sophie Mutter, Violin | Staatskapelle Dresden | André Previn, Conductor;
Deutsche Grammophon

At a Glance

This concert presents masterpieces from the early 20th century by two composers who worked within the classical symphonic system but expanded it in novel ways. Until recently, neither Sibelius nor Nielsen was regarded as particularly forward-looking. (Indeed, Sibelius was regarded by progressives in his time as reactionary.) Both are now championed as highly original artists who influenced later generations. Sibelius’s elegant melancholy, fluid structures, and dark grandeur are on full display in the brief but haunting Valse triste and the virtuosic Violin Concerto. Written in the shadow of World War I, Nielsen’s epic Fourth Symphony, aptly named “The Inextinguishable,” is a turbulent but ultimately triumphant assertion of music as a life force. In Nielsen’s words, “Music is life, and like life is inextinguishable.”
Program Notes


Anne-Sophie Mutter Introduces Her 2014-2015 Perspectives Series

Perspectives: Anne-Sophie Mutter

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