Performance Saturday, February 28, 2015 | 8 PM

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Brahms inherited the German symphonic crown from Beethoven and wrote four of the most powerful symphonies of the Romantic era. The gentle Symphony No. 2 charms with its warm melodies and welcoming pastoral quality. Architecturally grand, Brahms’s fourth and final symphony concludes with one of the most breathtaking passages in the symphonic literature: an epic passacaglia that builds to a cataclysmic climax.


  • Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    Daniele Gatti, Conductor


  • BRAHMS Symphony No. 2
  • BRAHMS Symphony No. 4

  • Encore:
  • WAGNER Prelude to Act III of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Event Duration

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


  • Daniele Gatti

    Daniele Gatti was born in Milan and studied piano, composition, and conducting at the Conservatorio di musica Giuseppe Verdi di Milano. He has been appointed the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra's new chief conductor, a post he will assume in 2016. He has been music director of the Orchestre National de France since September 2008 and is conductor laureate of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, where he was music director from 1996 to 2009. Prior to these appointments, he was music director of the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome (1992-1997) and of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna (1997-2007); principal guest conductor at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (1994-1997); and principal conductor at the Zurich Opera House (2009-2012).

    Mr. Gatti has conducted many new productions at leading opera houses all over the world, including the Vienna State Opera; Teatro alla Scala in Milan; Bavarian State Opera in Munich; Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Zurich Opera House; and the Metropolitan Opera, where he made his debut in 1994 and where he returned in February 2013 for an acclaimed new production of Parsifal. In December 2013, he opened the new season at La Scala with La traviata, the closing production of the theater's Verdi bicentenary celebrations.

    Maestro Gatti is one of the few Italian conductors ever invited to conduct at the Bayreuth Festival, where he opened the 2008 season with a new production of Parsifal. After leading Elektra at the Salzburg Festival in 2010, he returned there in 2012 to conduct La bohème, in 2013 to lead Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and in 2014 to conduct Il trovatore and two orchestral concerts.

    His future engagements feature appearances with the most prestigious orchestras of the world, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala. With the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, he will conduct for the first time at the Salzburg Easter Festival. His upcoming operatic projects include Macbeth at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, Pelléas et Mélisande at the Maggio Musicale Festival in Florence, and Falstaff and Die Meistersinger at La Scala.

    Mr. Gatti  records exclusively for Sony, and his first two recordings with the Orchestre National de France, dedicated to the music of Debussy and Stravinsky, were released in 2012 and 2013, respectively. A DVD of Mr. Gatti leading François Girard's production of Parsifal at the Met was released in 2014.

    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).

    Since its inception by Otto Nicolai in 1842, the fascination that the orchestra has held for prominent composers and conductors, as well as for audiences all over the world, is based not only on a homogenous musical style carefully bequeathed from one generation to the next, but also on its unique history and structure. The foremost ruling body of the organization is the orchestra itself. In accordance with Philharmonic statutes, only a member of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra can become a member of the Vienna Philharmonic. Before joining the Philharmonic, one must first audition for a position with the State Opera Orchestra and then successfully complete a three-year tenure before becoming eligible to submit an application for membership in the association of the Vienna Philharmonic.

    The VPO performs approximately 110 concerts every season at home, presents weeks of concerts in New York and Japan, and has participated in the Salzburg Festival since 1922. The orchestra makes yearly guest appearances in leading concert halls and festivals around the world, presents a New Year's Concert that is broadcast internationally in more than 90 countries, and presents the free Summer Night Concert Schönbrunn, which is attended annually by up to 100,000 people. 

    In 2014, the VPO received the coveted Birgit Nilsson Prize for outstanding achievements and major contributions to the field of opera and concert, as well as the Herbert von Karajan Music Prize.

    The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra's mission is to communicate the humanitarian message of music to its listeners. For more than a decade, the VPO has given benefit concerts in support of humanitarian causes around the world, and since 2005, it has been Goodwill Ambassador for the World Health Organization. The musicians of the Vienna Philharmonic endeavor to implement the motto with which Ludwig van Beethoven prefaced his Missa solemnis: "From the heart, to the heart."

    More Info


Brahms's Symphony No. 2 (Allegro con spirito)
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra | Pierre Monteux, Conductor

At a Glance

This concert presents two distinctively different Brahms symphonies. The Second is the most mellow and spontaneous of his four, yet is written with his characteristic formal rigor. The orchestration has a crystalline transparency we normally don’t associate with Brahms, and the brassy fourth movement is the composer’s most viscerally exciting finale. The Fourth is Brahms’s last symphony and in many ways his most satisfying, especially in its beautiful variation-form slow movement and its majestic finale, itself an even more complex variation set and a moving conclusion to Brahms’s career as a symphonist.
Program Notes
This concert is made possible, in part, by the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation.