Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra

Ravel/ Elgar / Shostakovich Concert


La Valse

(13 minutes)


Cello Concerto                  

(30 minutes)


Symphony No. 5                 

(45 minutes)

Benjamin Zander, conductor

Zlatomir Fung, cello



It is with great anticipation that I await my first opportunity to work with local 22-year-old cellist Zlatomir Fung, gold medalist in the most recent Tchaikovsky Cello Competition. Zlatomir’s dazzling virtuosity, sparkling intelligence, and nobility of expression made him an ideal protagonist for the Elgar.

Ravel’s La Valse is possibly the most overtly dramatic work that the composer wrote, an incremental deconstruction of the Viennese Waltz that by the end, whether by accident or design, turns virtually apocalyptic. 

The second half of the concert is devoted to Shostakovich’s great Fifth Symphony. It is an enormous work – not so much in its length as in its emotional reach. It was the piece that placed Shostakovich front and center on the world’s musical stage, proclaimed him as the foremost composer of the Soviet Union in the 1930s, and, by giving the illusion of placating the authorities, probably saved his life. Since then, it has come to be regarded as music’s greatest symbol of the power of the artist to raise his voice in protest in even the darkest of times. -Benjamin Zander

Edward Elgar Cello Concerto - 30 minutes

Dmitri Shostakovich Symphony No. 5  - 30 minutes

  • Dmitri Shostakovich completed work on Symphony No. 5 and it received its premiere on November 21, 1937, by the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra. It was so well received that the director of the Leningrad Philharmonic observed that the ovation lasted for over a half hour.

  • In an article by Shostakovich in the Moscow newspaper, he is quoted as saying his 5th Symphony "is a Soviet artist's creative response to justified criticism."

  • While the composer appeared to have placated the authorities with this piece, the public viewed the piece as an expression of their suffering under Stalin.


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

Sunday, February 27, 2022
3:00PM / Symphony Hall
There will be no pre-concert Guide to the music with Benjamin Zander before the concert.


Contact for questions about the livestream or On Demand.


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