Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra

Britten/ Hindemith /Tchaikovsky

Britten                                                               Passacaglia Op. 33b from Peter Grimes

Mathis der Maler      

Tchaikovsky                                                        Symphony No. 6


Benjamin Zander, conductor



For the final concert of the season, we bring together three works by composers who demonstrate extraordinary strength while confronting extreme emotional pressures.

In the opera Peter Grimes, Benjamin Britten writes with deep psychological insight into the atmosphere of a small village that cannot tolerate people who are different. The opera’s seven-minute Passacaglia portrays the most harrowing moment in the opera, when the drama is played out off-stage.

Paul Hindemith’s Symphony Mathis der Maler imagines the inner life of the painter Matthias Grünewald, who created artwork of enormous compassion even while suffering fierce personal persecution. Because of its content, and its mastery, the Nazis considered the work to pose a serious threat. Hindemith was forced to leave the country.

Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony finds the composer at the height of his creative powers, despite living uneasily in a culture that rejected the very essence of his being. His final

composition, the Pathetique, is one of the greatest tragic utterances in the history of music. No degree of familiarity with the work lessens its power to touch us, and it seems to reach places within us that only this work can. -Benjamin Zander

Benjamin Britten Passacaglia Op. 33b (from Peter Grimes) - 7 minutes

Paul Hindemith Mathis der Maler  - 25 minutes

  • One of the most famous of Paul Hindemith’s orchestral pieces, Mathis der Maler the symphony was written in 1934 and premiered on March 12, 1934 performed by the Berlin Philharmonic.
  • The Mathis der Maler opera was finished in 1935 but due to the politics at the time it could not be staged in Germany. Hindemith’s music was denounced by the Nazi party as "Jewish connected." The opera premiered in Switzerland in 1938.
  • The opera, Mathis der Maler (Matthias the Painter) takes place during the German Peasant’s War from 1524 to 1525 and it centers around the painter Matthias and his struggles to keep his artistic freedom of expression despite the repressive climate of that time period. This was an obvious political critique of the German government of 1935.
  • Hear Mathis der Maler on YouTube performed by the Orchestra of the University of Music Franz Listzt, Weimar

Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6 - 46 minutes


All dates, repertoire, venues, and artists subject to change.


Sunday, May 10, 2020
3:00PM / Sanders Theatre
There will be no pre-concert Guide to the music with Benjamin Zander before the concert.

View Sanders Seat Map

See our Orchestra map for common instrument locations as they would appear on stage.