Performance Friday, February 26, 2016 | 8 PM

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
There are stunning colors, stirring melodies, and an abundance of drama in this concert that features three orchestral favorites. Wagner’s Overture to The Flying Dutchman evokes both the storm-tossed sea and tormented soul of the legendary mariner, while Debussy’s La mer employs shimmering colors for an impression of the very ocean itself. Ravel’s superbly scored orchestration of Mussorgsky’s piano suite Pictures at an Exhibition is electrifying from its opening Promenade to the famous “Great Gate of Kiev.”


  • Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    Valery Gergiev, Conductor


  • WAGNER Overture to The Flying Dutchman
  • DEBUSSY La mer
  • MUSSORGSKY Pictures at an Exhibition (orch. Ravel)

  • Encores:
  • J. STRAUSS JR. "Vergnügungszug" Polka, Op. 281
  • J. STRAUSS JR. JOHANN STRAUSS JR. "Kaiser" Waltz, Op. 437

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately 90 minutes, including one 20-minute 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.

    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 Orchestra. Before joining the philharmonic, one must first audition for a position with the State Opera Orchestra and then successfully complete a three-year period before becoming eligible to submit an application for membership in the association of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

    The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra performs approximately 110 concerts every season at home, presents Vienna Philharmonic weeks 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 the New Year's Concert, which 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 Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra received the coveted Birgit Nilsson Prize for outstanding achievements and major contributions to the field of opera/concert, as well as the Herbert von Karajan Music Prize. Since 2008, Rolex has been the Exclusive Sponsor of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

    The philharmonic's mission is to communicate the humanitarian message of music to its listeners. For more than a decade, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra has given benefit concerts in support of humanitarian causes around the world, and since 2012 has been Goodwill Ambassador for IIASA, an international scientific institute based in Austria that conducts research into humanity's most pressing problems.

    The musicians of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra endeavor to implement the motto with which Ludwig van Beethoven prefaced his Missa solemnis: "From the heart, to the heart."

    Valery Gergiev

    Valery Gergiev returns to Carnegie Hall for three concerts with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra that feature music from Richard Wagner's Parsifal, Götterdämmerung, and Der fliegende Holländer. A frequent visitor to Carnegie Hall, Mr. Gergiev is known for his cycles of works by Berlioz, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Mahler, Tchaikovsky, and many others, which he has performed with the Mariinsky Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. From Carnegie Hall, he travels with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to South America.

    Now in his first full season as music director of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, he has already presented a cycle of the five Prokofiev piano concertos in one day, led masterworks such as Mahler's Symphony No. 2, and recently returned from a tour of Asia with the orchestra. In previous years as music director designate, he implemented the performance of all 15 Shostakovich symphonies, as well as cycles of works by Stravinsky.

    Having completed a nine-year tenure as principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, which included many recordings and international tours, Mr. Gergiev now concentrates on leading the legendary Mariinsky Theater, the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Stars of White Nights, Moscow Easter, and Rotterdam Philharmonic Gergiev festivals. In 1998, he followed Sir Georg Solti as principal conductor of the World Orchestra of Peace, a position he continues in today.

    Valery Gergiev was born in Moscow and studied conducting with Ilya Musin at the Leningrad Conservatory. As a student, he won the Herbert von Karajan Conducting Competition in Berlin. In 1978, at the age of 24, he became assistant conductor to Yuri Temirkanov at the Mariinsky Theater, where he made his debut with Prokofiev's War and Peace. In 2003, he became the first Russian conductor since Tchaikovsky to conduct Carnegie Hall's Opening Night Gala. His recordings on LSO Live and the Mariinsky label have been acclaimed worldwide. Today he is a popular guest on all the great stages of Europe, Asia, and the Americas, including at the Salzburg Festival and the Metropolitan Opera.

    More Info


MUSSORGSKY Pictures at an Exhibition (“La grande porte de Kiev”)
Valery Gergiev, Conductor | Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Deutsche Grammophon

At a Glance

This concert presents three sets of musical pictures: one German, one French, and one Russian. Each is a vision of new musical possibilities for tone painting, and each is a showpiece of orchestral technology. In the Overture to Der fliegende Holländer, Wagner announces a new boldness and vividness; in La mer, Debussy offers “symphonic sketches” of a mysterious and endlessly shifting seascape; and in Pictures at an Exhibition, Mussorgsky memorializes a beloved painter with the help of Ravel’s instrumental wizardry in a remarkable collaboration across centuries.
Program Notes
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Sponsored by Ernst & Young LLP
This concert is made possible, in part, by the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation.
This performance is part of International Festival of Orchestras II.

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