Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Press Release

Santtu-Matias Rouvali Conducts Symphonie Fantastique with Milwukee Symphony Orchestra

MSO presents Symphonie fantastiqueon November 29-30, 2014 at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.

By - Nov 4th, 2014 10:18 am

MILWAUKEE, WIS. 11/04/2014 – The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra presents Symphonie fantastiqueon November 29-30, 2014 at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. Led by guest conductor

Santtu-Matias Rouvali, the performances feature Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, Nielsen’s Overture to Maskarade, and pianist Jeffrey Kahane in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4.

Both concerts include Meet the Music, a free, interactive pre-concert discussion held one hour prior to concert start time in Anello Atrium.

Nielsen’s Overture to Maskarade was composed between 1904-1906. Nielsen, widely considered the most prominent composer from Denmark, composed two operas in his career, including this comic opera Maskarade. The story centers on two wealthy families in Copenhagen who arrange for their children, Leander and Leonora, to marry, which infuriates them both. The Overture is compact and quick, featuring several themes from the opera. The writing is virtuosic and features Nielsen’s compositional style of romantic lines with harmonic and melodic twists and turns.

Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 was composed in 1806 and premiered publicly in 1808. MSO program annotator Isaac Thompson writes, “Unlike the other four piano concertos Beethoven completed, the Fourth Concerto is more understated, yet no less grand in its overall arch and shape.” Going against the traditional model of an orchestral introduction prior to the piano entrance, the Fourth Concerto begins with the solo pianist alone.

Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique was composed and premiered in 1830. Berlioz was only twenty-seven years old and had no formal compositional training. Written only three years after Beethoven’s death, the work pushes all boundaries, and as Michael Steinberg states, “takes off on paths Beethoven could never have imagined.” The work was primarily inspired by Berlioz’s encounter with Irish actress Harriet Smithson, with whom he became infatuated. Smithson is represented by a recurring theme which appears throughout each movement in various guises.


Santtu-Matias Rouvali is currently chief conductor of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the Copenhagen Philharmonic. This season, Rouvali makes a number of debut appearances, including the Wiener Symphoniker, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Gothenburg and BBC symphony orchestras, MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, and Gürzenich-Orchester Köln. His debut appearances last season included concerts with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Return engagements this season include the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo and Milwaukee symphony orchestras, and – marking his London debut – the Philharmonica Orchestra. He also returns to the Robeco Summer Concerts series at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and opens the Queensland Music Festival with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. In addition, Rouvali continues his relationships with the Finnish Radio Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and Dresdner Philharmonie. Rouvali’s debut recording on the Ondine label features Hakola and Hosokawa guitar concertos with Timo Korhonen and the Oulu Symphony Orchestra. His next release, featuring Violin Concertos by Adams and Ligeti with the Copenhagen Philharmonic and Ilya Gringolts, will be recorded on Orchid Classics.

Jeffrey Kahane has established an international reputation as a truly versatile artist, recognized by audiences around the world for his mastery of a diverse repertoire ranging from Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven to Gershwin, Golijov, and John Adams. Since making his Carnegie Hall debut in 1983, Mr. Kahane has given recitals in many of the nation’s major music centers including New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. He appears as soloist with major orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony, and he is a popular figure at many major United States festivals. Kahane is equally well-known for his collaborations with artists and chamber ensembles such as Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, Joshua Bell, Thomas Quasthoff, and the Emerson and Takacs quartets. Kahane has recorded the complete works for violin and piano by Schubert with Joseph Swensen for RCA, Bach’s Sinfonias and Partita No. 4 in D major for Nonesuch, and Bernstein’s Age of Anxiety for Virgin Records, which was nominated by Gramophone for their “Record of the Year” award.


Symphonie fantastique
Santtu-Matias Rouvali, conductor
Jeffrey Kahane, piano

Uihlein Hall, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts

Saturday, November 29 | 8:00 p.m.
Meet the Music, Anello Atrium | 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, November 30 | 2:30 p.m.
Meet the Music, Anello Atrium | 1:30 p.m.

Tickets range from $25-105. For more information, please call 414.291.7605 or visit Tickets may also be purchased through the Marcus Center Box Office at 414.273.7206.


The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, under the dynamic leadership of Music Director Edo de Waart, is among the finest orchestras in the nation and the largest cultural institution in Wisconsin. Now in his sixth season with the MSO, Maestro de Waart has led sold-out concerts, elicited critical acclaim, and conducted a celebrated performance at Carnegie Hall on May 11, 2012. The MSO’s full-time professional musicians perform over 135 classics, pops, family, education, and community concerts each season in venues throughout the state. Since its inception in 1959, the MSO has found innovative ways to give music a home in the region, develop music appreciation and talent among area youth, and raise the national reputation of Milwaukee.

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