Boston Philharmonic Orchestra

Mendelssohn/ Prokofiev/ Brahms Concert


The Hebrides Overture


Violin Concerto No. 2


Symphony No. 4


Benjamin Zander, conductor

Stefan Jackiw, violin




Prokofiev wrote his Second Violin Concerto around the same time that he composed the ballet Romeo and Juliet. The similarity of much of the concerto’s music to that of the beloved ballet has certainly played its part in endearing it to audiences. The first movement has a soaring theme that instantly brings to mind the young lovers of the balcony scene. The second movement is tender and graceful, and the finale is like a crazed fiddler stalking a village dance.

I keep inviting Stefan Jackiw back to play, because each time he offers new light on a work that we may have heard over and over. If you have never heard Stefan play, don’t miss this opportunity.

The Brahms Fourth Symphony marks the climax of his entire compositional life, and it is for this reason that I have been drawn back to it so often—I believe this is my seventh performance in Boston, over the past 50 years.

Though its tragic radiance has lodged itself deep in the hearts of music lovers, it demands from its interpreters a lifetime of immersion. Mendelssohn’s Overture opens this concert for a very simple reason, the same reason that Brahms gave in expressing his admiration for the work. He said, “I would give all my compositions to have composed a piece as perfect as The Hebrides.”

-Benjamin Zander, conductor

This is a live concert that will be live streamed! and be sure to read through our support page for Boston Philharmonic virtual events.

Felix Mendelssohn  The Hebrides Overture (Fingal's Cave) - 10 minutes

  • Felix Mendelssohn wrote The Hebrides (originally titled To the Lonely Island or Zur einsamen Insel) in 1830.

  • Mendelssohn was inspired after a trip to the British Isles and the Scottish island of Staffa in 1829. On this island is a basalt sea cave called Fingal's Cave.

  • The Boston Philharmonic last performed The Hebrides Overture in April 1989.

Sergei Prokofiev  Violin Concerto No. 2 - 28 minutes

  • Sergei Prokofiev wrote Violin Concerto No. 2 while on concert tour with French violinist Robert Soetens. Prokofiev wrote about this experience "the number of places in which I wrote the Concerto shows the kind of nomadic concert-tour life I led then. The main theme of the 1st movement was written in Paris, the first theme of the 2nd movement at Voronezh, the orchestration was finished in Baku and the premiere was given in Madrid."

Johannes Brahms  Symphony No. 4 - 40 minutes

  • Symphony No. 4 is Johannes Brahms's final symphony.

  • Brahms's Symphony No. 4 premiered in Meiningen, Germany, on October 25, 1885.

  • Brahms began work on this symphony just one year after completion of his Symphony No. 3.


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

Wednesday, November 10, 2021 8:00 PM / Symphony Hall
Guide to the music with Benjamin Zander, 6:45pm. Parking and Directions



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