Programme Guide

Lahav Shani made his acclaimed debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker with works by Mozart and Schumann in December 2020. Shani, who is also known as a brilliant pianist, has enjoyed a meteoric career within just a few years: the music director of the Israel Philharmonic, one of the most prestigious positions in the world of classical music, became chief conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in the 2020/21 season.

The programme of the New Year’s Eve concert features a dialogue between the musical cities of Vienna and Paris. It was in the French capital that the previously little-known Igor Stravinsky made his international breakthrough in 1909 with his Firebird, written for the Ballets Russes. To this day, the work’s richness of imagery and atmosphere as well as its captivating timbres make it one of the most popular musical creations of early Modernism. The “waltz king” Johann Strauss II also had a similarly effortlessly sparkling imagination. The overture to the operetta Die Fledermaus, often performed as the music to end the year, represents the spirit of Vienna in an unparalleled way, with wit, verve, sensuousness and charm.

Ravel’s masterpiece La Valse, completed in 1920, also pays homage to this spirit, but at the same time shows unmistakable traces of the experience of the World War with its apocalyptic conclusion.

Max Bruch’s First Violin Concerto is also a showpiece of its genre. The solemn first movement, the wonderfully cantabile Adagio, and the dance-like, lively finale make the work ideal as music for a gala, especially as Janine Jansen is a soloist whose subtlety and temperament make her one of the most popular musicians on the classical music scene.

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