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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
  • ZH Zankel Hall
  • SA/PS Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
  • REW Resnick Education Wing
  • WRH Weill Recital Hall

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Friday, February 23, 2018 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
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Gustavo Dudamel by Adam Latham
Lyrical, dramatic, and light-hearted aspects of Brahms’s music are showcased by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. His famous Academic Festival Overture playfully quotes student songs before culminating in the jubilant “Gaudemus igitur.” In warmly melodic music, Brahms shows reverence for past masters and classical forms in his Variations on a Theme by Haydn, while the heroic tone and grand scale of his Symphony No. 1 establish him as a great German symphonic master.


Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Gustavo Dudamel, Conductor


BRAHMS Academic Festival Overture
BRAHMS Variations on a Theme by Haydn
BRAHMS Symphony No. 1

BERNSTEIN Waltz from Divertimento for Orchestra

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
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This concert is made possible, in part, by the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation.

The Vienna Philharmonic Residency at Carnegie Hall is made possible by a leadership gift from the Mercedes T. Bass Charitable Corporation.

At a Glance

The most classical of the great Romantics, Brahms was a preserver of the Haydn-Beethoven tradition in the age of Liszt and Wagner, yet his melodies are as memorable as those of any Romantic, and his structural ingenuity was admired by modernists, including Arnold Schoenberg. This concert takes in the entire range of Brahms’s style: the boisterous wit of the Academic Festival Overture, the colorful and symmetrical Variations on a Theme by Haydn, and the heroic intensity of the composer’s debut symphony. The latter took him some 14 years to write, and reflects the tension and ambition of its creation. Tense and exciting, though famous for its serene violin and horn solos, it has a monumental ambition and sprawling energy that caused it to be dubbed “Beethoven’s 10th.” What is consistent throughout the program is an ideal merging of form and emotion, design and content. In his time, Brahms was often regarded as too cerebral for large audiences, but he is now one of the most popular of all composers. 


Gustavo Dudamel

Internationally renowned conductor Gustavo Dudamel currently serves as music director of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, and as music and artistic director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He is motivated by a profound belief in music’s power to unite and inspire, and the impact of his leadership extends from the greatest concert stages to classrooms, cinemas, and innovative digital platforms around the world. Mr. Dudamel has appeared as a guest conductor with some of the world’s most famous institutions: In 2017–2018, he tours Europe with the Berliner Philharmoniker, and tours with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to venues that include Mexico City’s Palacio de Bellas Artes, Bogotá’s Teatro Mayor, Teatro Municipal in Santiago, and Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. In addition, he conducts a new production of Puccini’s La bohème at the Opéra National de Paris.

Mr. Dudamel is currently in his ninth season as music and artistic director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. At his initiative, the orchestra has dramatically expanded the scope of its community outreach programs, including the creation of the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA), influenced by the philosophy of Venezuela’s admired El Sistema, which encourages social development through music. With YOLA and diverse local educational initiatives, Mr. Dudamel brings music to children in underserved communities of Los Angeles.

Mr. Dudamel’s commitment to young people and music is fueled by his own transformative experience in Venezuela’s El Sistema, a program initiated by José Antonio Abreu in 1975. In addition to his ongoing commitment to the children, teachers, and orchestras of El Sistema in Venezuela, Mr. Dudamel devotes much of his time to education and programs that promote social change through art. He has appeared at the United Nations and the White House to raise awareness of the role of music education in social development. Further afield, he has worked on numerous occasions with El Sistema Japan and with the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra in the wake of the 2011 tsunami. He actively supports projects such as Big Noise in Scotland, Vienna’s Superar program, SerHacer in Boston, and El Sistema Sweden, with which he initiated an international Orchestra of the Future comprising young people from five continents who performed together on the occasion of the 2017 Nobel Prize Concert.

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Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

For the past 176 years, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra has been inseparably linked with European musical tradition, from the Classical to the contemporary. The philharmonic’s performances have gone down in music history, and several masterpieces have been written for the ensemble.

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, the musicians must first audition for a position with the Vienna 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 40 concerts annually in Vienna, presents Vienna Philharmonic weeks in New York and Japan, and has appeared at the Salzburg Festival since 1922. The orchestra makes yearly guest appearances, playing more than 50 concerts 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, attended annually by up to 100,000 people.

From the beginning, the orchestra has displayed a strong social consciousness, characterized by a commitment to individuals in need and the fostering of young musicians. To this day, the orchestra annually performs numerous benefit concerts and develops initiatives for the disadvantaged. 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.”

Rolex has been the exclusive sponsor of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra since 2008.

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