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  • © Khalil Baalbaki
    © Khalil Baalbaki

Gewandhausorchester, Petr Popelka: Dvorak, Mahler, Brahms at Gewandhaus

Leipzig, Gewandhaus zu Leipzig — Grosser Saal

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About the Event

In Leipzig's beloved Gewandhaus, hear the Gewandhaus Orchestra and baritone Andrè Schuen under the baton of Petr Popelka for a captivating performance of works by Dvorak, Mahler and Brahms.

Dvořák's tone poem begins with a funeral march. A young widow follows the coffin of her husband, whom she has poisoned. Under vital, Bohemian folk‐inspired sounds, the murderess marries a harp‐infatuated lover in the middle section. The cooing of the wood pigeon finally drives her to suicide, gnawed by remorse. The solo violin laments the tragic event in solitude.

As a happy father, Mahler set five Kindertotenlieder by Friedrich Rückert to music. In the summer of 1907, reality caught up with the composer of Kindertotenlieder. Mahler's eldest daughter passed away in agony.

The connection to Brahms runs as a constant through all of Schönberg's teaching and creative phases. At the time of the composition of the quartet arrangement in 1937, the emigrant in Los Angeles was annoyed not to find his works on the programs of American orchestras. The Brahms arrangement may have been part of a strategy to gently introduce concertgoers in the New World to Schoenberg.

Practical Information

Due to its history, the Gewandhaus Orchestra stands for civic engagement in a special way. With a view to the challenges of the present and the community‐building, inspiring and transformative potential of music, it has launched a democracy initiative in 2022. On pressing issues of justice, resources, media, institutions, education, identity, resilience and faith, public and cultural figures engage in dialogue with each other, with the audience and with musical performances.

'Resonance' is the motto above the musically inspired, culturally initiated discussion of basic values, understanding of democracy and social togetherness. We invite you to join in the discussion at round tables and to experimentally explore and musically experience political, sociological, acoustic and interpersonal facets of resonance in workshops and performances. Inspired by musical artworks, we open spaces for voices of the present and for ideas that strengthen the common good — in exchange between all those who want to help shape society.


  • Antonín Dvořák – The Wild Dove, symphonic poem, op. 110
  • Gustav Mahler – Kindertotenlieder (Songs on the Death of Children)
  • Johannes Brahms – 1. Quartett für Klavier, Violine, Viola und Violoncello g‐Moll op. 25 (Bearbeitung für Orchester von Arnold Schönberg)
Program is subject to change


Orchestra: Gewandhausorchester Leipzig

The Leipzig Gewandhausorchester is a German orchestra based in Leipzig, Germany. It is named after the concert hall in which it is based, the Gewandhaus.

The orchestra has a good claim to being the oldest continuing musical performing organization in Europe. In the early 19th century, Felix Mendelssohn was the kapellmeister.

Later principal conductors included Arthur Nikisch, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Bruno Walter, Vaclav Neumann, and from 1970 to 1996 Kurt Masur. In 1998, Herbert Blomstedt took over the post until 2005 and will be succeeded by Riccardo Chailly.

As home to the Gewandhausorchester, the city of Leipzig possesses an orchestra of the highest world renown — one with an extraordinarily illustrious heritage spanning 275 years. In March 1743, sixteen Leipzig merchants founded a concert society, which was to shape musical history. Today, the Gewandhausorchester thrills and inspires music lovers the world over with both its passion for music and its unique, unmistakable sound.
Alongside its 70 symphonic Große Concerte per season, the Gewandhausorchester performs as the orchestra both of the Leipzig Opera — a role it has fulfilled for over 200 years — and of St. Thomas‘s Church, performing the music of JS Bach each week with the celebrated Thomanerchor. In addition, the Orchestra gives approximately 35 concerts per season all around the globe, and is documented on countless recordings. The unique diversity of the Gewandhausorchester‘s activities is a fundamental factor of Leipzig‘s international renown as ‚City of Music‘.

Conductor: Petr Popelka
Baritone: Andrè Schuen


Gewandhaus zu Leipzig, Augustusplatz 8, Leipzig, Germany — Google Maps

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