Performance Tuesday, February 11, 2014 | 8 PM

Boston Symphony Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
“The synergy between any conductor and orchestra is always something of a mystery to outsiders, but the rapport between this pair is unmistakable,” proclaimed The Boston Globe of this esteemed orchestra and its conductor laureate, the legendary Bernard Haitink. Experience this remarkable connection for yourself when they return to Carnegie Hall for a program of works from the Romantic period by Schumann and Brahms, paired with Purcell / Steven Stucky Funeral Music for Queen Mary.


  • Boston Symphony Orchestra
    Bernard Haitink, Conductor
  • Murray Perahia, Piano


  • PURCELL / STEVEN STUCKY Funeral Music for Queen Mary
  • SCHUMANN Piano Concerto
  • BRAHMS Symphony No. 4

Event Duration

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


  • Bernard Haitink

    The 2013-2014 season is the 60th of Bernard Haitink's conducting career, which he began with the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in his native Holland. Also this season he celebrates his 85th birthday with a series of concerts in New York with the London and Boston symphony orchestras and the New York Philharmonic, and concerts at the Barbican with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Mr. Haitink was chief conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for 27 years, as well as music director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, and principal conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra. He made his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut in 1971, becoming principal guest conductor in 1995 and the BSO's LaCroix Family Fund Conductor Emeritus in 2004. Also conductor laureate of the Royal Concertgebouw and Patron of the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra of the Netherlands, he celebrates another milestone in March 2014 when he conducts the Berliner Philharmoniker in concerts that mark the 50th anniversary of his debut with that orchestra. Other engagements include a Brahms project in Amsterdam, and a cycle of Schumann symphonies and concertos at the Lucerne Festival, both with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe; a return to the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra for concerts in Munich and the opening concert of the 2014 Salzburg Festival; and concerts with the Chicago and London symphony orchestras and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich. Committed to the development of young musical talent, he gives an annual conducting master class at the Lucerne Easter Festival. This season he also offers conducting classes at The Juilliard School and Zurich's Hochschule der Künste, and conducts concerts with the Orchestra of the Royal College of Music. Mr. Haitink has an extensive discography for Philips, Decca, EMI, and many new live recording labels established by such orchestras as the London Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in recent years. He has received many awards and honors in recognition of his services to music, including several honorary doctorates, an honorary Knighthood and Companion of Honour in the United Kingdom, and the House Order of Orange-Nassau in the Netherlands.

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  • Murray Perahia

    In his more than 40 years on the concert stage, American pianist Murray Perahia has performed in all the major international music centers and with every leading orchestra. He is also principal guest conductor of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, with which he has toured as conductor and pianist throughout the US, Europe, Japan, and Southeast Asia. Born in New York, Mr. Perahia started playing piano at age four; later attended Mannes College The New School For Music, where he majored in conducting and composition; and spent summers at the Marlboro Festival, collaborating with such musicians as Rudolf Serkin, Pablo Casals, and the members of the Budapest String Quartet. He also studied at the time with Mieczyslaw Horszowski, and subsequently developed a close friendship with Vladimir Horowitz, who was an abiding inspiration. Mr. Perahia won the Leeds International Piano Competition in 1972; in 1973, he gave his first concert at the Aldeburgh Festival, where he worked closely with Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, accompanying the latter in many lieder recitals. From 1981 to 1989, he was co-artistic director of the Aldeburgh Festival. In 2013-2014, he appears in recital in Japan, in Australia for the first time, and in the US. Mr. Perahia has a wide and varied discography. Sony Classical has issued The First 40 Years, a special boxed set of all his recordings, including several DVDs. His recording of Brahms's "Handel" Variations won the Gramophone Award in 2011; other awards include two Grammys and, in 2012, Gramophone's first-ever Piano Award. Mr. Perahia recently embarked on an ambitious project to edit the complete Beethoven sonatas for the Henle Urtext Edition. He also produced and edited numerous hours of recordings of recently discovered master classes by legendary pianist Alfred Cortot, resulting in the acclaimed Sony CD release, Alfred Cortot: The Master Classes. Mr. Perahia is an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Music and Royal Academy of Music; he holds honorary doctorates from Oxford University, Leeds University, and Duke University. In 2004, he was awarded an honorary KBE by Her Majesty The Queen, in recognition of his outstanding service to music.

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Brahms's Symphony No. 4 (Allegro giocoso)
Boston Symphony Orchestra | Bernard Haitink, Conductor

At a Glance

Two familiar works dominate this program: Robert Schumann's powerful yet lyric Piano Concerto and the last of Brahms's four great symphonies. Schumann conceived his concerto for his wife Clara, herself a composer and celebrated pianist. He wrote the piece over several years, specifically aiming toward something beyond the genre's more purely virtuosic norm. Originating as a single-movement Fantasie in 1841, it reached its final three-movement form in 1845. In her diary, Clara commented on the delicate interweaving of the piano and orchestra parts, one of the work's most distinctive and engaging characteristics.

Though Schumann's protégé Johannes Brahms waited until his 40s to complete a first symphony, all four of his works in the genre remain central to the core repertoire. In characteristic understatement, Brahms downplayed the intense, minor-mode Fourth—which ends with his own dark take on the antique variation form called a passacaglia—as "a bunch of polkas and waltzes." No slave to Classical models, he determinedly ended the work in the minor mode, where tradition would have dictated a change to major.

"Rethinking" figures in this concert's opening work as well: a wind ensemble re-composition, by the Kansas-born, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky, of the 17th-century Englishman Henry Purcell's funeral music for Queen Mary. Stucky was appointed composer-in-residence of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1988 by its then-music director André Previn, a relationship that continued when Esa-Pekka Salonen took the helm. It was Salonen who suggested that Stucky transcribe Purcell's music for performance by the orchestra, with which Salonen gave the premiere in 1992.
Program Notes
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