Pre-Concert Talks

Did you know that Paul Hindemith was inspired to write his symphony and opera Mathis der Maler by the Isenheim Altar by the painter Matthias Grünewald, so that the symphony is sometimes called a “triptych in sound”? That Richard Strauss wrote his popular Horn Concerto No. 1 when he was only 18, certainly also inspired by his father, one of the leading horn players of his time, which might explain the enormous difficulties of the work? That Frédéric Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 was actually written before No. 1 – when the composer was only 19? That Sibelius wrote his tone poem Finlandia in 1900, when Finland was part of the Russian Empire, and that this “secret national anthem” was soon so popular that it was temporarily banned? That Erich Wolfgang Korngold quoted several of his own film scores in his Violin Concerto, and that the work is so songful that the composer himself said it was written “more for a Caruso than a Paganini”?

You will learn many fascinating and often surprising background facts from musicological experts in our 14 pre-concert talks – always delivered with a personal note. Often, musicians of the orchestra, conductors or soloists are also interviewed as part of these events.

Enjoy an enriching start to your concert evening and listen to the young musicians on stage with a “knowing ear”.

We look forward to welcoming you to our pre-concert talks – see you there!

All pre-concert talks are given in German.

Anne Kussmaul (left) during a pre-concert talk in 2017 with Mariana Vieira, winner of the European Composer Award.