Bienen Ensembles

Concert and Live Stream: Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra

Mahler’s 10th Symphony

Saturday, February 1, 2020 at 7:30pm

Pick-Staiger Concert Hall

Victor Yampolsky, conductor

Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 10 was his final composition. As his health was failing and his personal life was falling apart, he wrote some of the most turbulent, evocative, and emotionally weighty music of his career; however, the work was not fully completed before his death. The Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra performs Rudolf Barshai’s 2000 completion of the symphony, designed to make the most of the full sound of the Mahler orchestra.

The February 1 performance will also be presented as a live stream. Visit after 7:20 p.m. Central to view the performance.

Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid ID.

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A Note from the Conductor

"It is my belief that the wealth of musical ideas in this work represent a new period of Mahler's creative writing. Since he wrote three movements in complete score and the rest in shorthand, it deserves to be performed and presented. Rudolf Barshai was one of the most famous Soviet musicians and conductors of my own time, and this year we will commemorate the ten-year anniversary of his passing. I believe that his reconstruction [of the symphony] is actually the closest to Mahler's own writing.

"The symphony was composed in 1910, when Mahler was struggling with an incurable heart condition and marital problems, making him very depressed. On some pages of the manuscript, one can see short comments the composer addressed directly to his wife, whom he loved dearly and missed very much. The music of the symphony represents a retrospective look at Mahler's life's journey. It depicts the glory of, and thanksgiving for, our existence, a very deep love of life itself, vivid remembrances of struggles and tribulations, and unsettling thoughts of reparation for the departure at the end of life. The fifth movement introduces a melody which can be said to have been 'sent back to us from the other side.'"

—Victor Yampolsky

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Pick-Staiger Concert Hall


50 Arts Cir Dr
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

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Pick-Staiger is a 989-seat hall located in the Arts Circle on the Evanston campus of Northwestern University. The main lobby entrance for concerts is on the west side of the building (revolving and regular doors). Since its inception in 1975, the hall has functioned as both a classroom and performance facility for Bienen School of Music performing ensembles, faculty recitals, festivals, and professional guest artists.