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Gewandhausorchester, Susanna Mälkki: Saariaho, Reinecke, 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 flutist Katalin Stefula under the baton of Susanna Mälkki for a captivating performance of works by Saariaho, Reinecke and Brahms.

Reinecke had 'sincere admiration' for Brahms, premiered the German Requiem, won Leipzig the premiere of the Violin Concerto, invited Brahms as pianist and played four hands with him. Ten times he let the composer use the Gewandhaus podium to conduct his own works — for example, the premiere of the 2nd Symphony in 1878. Brahms returned the favor rudely with condescending remarks that momentously cemented the cliché of the visionary artist and the ossified‐conservative Kapellmeister. At least in one respect Reinecke was the more modern: while women composers had no place in Brahms's old‐fashioned role model, as a conservatory professor he promoted female musicians to the best of his ability.

The sound mysticism of the Finnish composer Saariaho, who opens up the associative space of the evening with 'Light and Gravity,' magically prepares the way for Reinecke's 100‐year older, nostalgic‐romantic flute concerto.

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.


  • Kaija Saariaho – Lumière et Pesanteur
  • Carl Reinecke – Konzert für Flöte und Orchester D‐Dur op. 283
  • Johannes Brahms – 2. Sinfonie in D‐Dur, Op. 73
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: Susanna Mälkki
Flute: Katalin Stefula


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

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