NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra / Joshua Bell / Alan Gilbert

Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto / Mahler: Symphony No. 5

Sold out 15 | 29 | 49 | 71 | 82 Remaining tickets occasionally available at box office
Sold out 15 | 29 | 49 | 71 | 82 Remaining tickets occasionally available at box office
Joshua Bell
Joshua Bell © Phillip Knott
Alan Gilbert
Alan Gilbert © Marco Borggreve

Once disturbing, now beguiling

»The Fifth is a cursed work. No one gets it,« Gustav Mahler noted at a performance in Hamburg on 13 March 1905. While the texts and programmes of Symphonies Nos. 2, 3 and 4 had offered listeners some help in understanding the work, Mahler entered a new creative phase with the purely instrumental Fifth. The composer spoke of an »entirely new style«. And, at the time, it was not just in Hamburg that audiences seemed out of their depth.

Nowadays, of course, it is not only the »Adagietto« from the Fifth that has become world-famous – thanks to its use in Luchino Visconti’s »Death in Venice«. In Hamburg, music lovers have long since developed a great affection for their former opera conductors: Christoph Eschenbach, Christoph von Dohnányi, Michael Gielen and Thomas Hengelbrock have each set new Mahler benchmarks with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. Now the current principal conductor and self-confessed Mahler aficionado Alan Gilbert sets forth his celebrated Mahler series with a performance of the Fifth.

»Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto gives us, for the first time, the hideous notion that there can be music which stinks to the ear.« This was the verdict of the savage Viennese critic Eduard Hanslick when it first debuted. He was particularly disturbed by the wildly folkloristic impact of the final movement. How times have changed though. Nowadays, it is not only the »catchy« melody in the first movement but precisely the spontaneous »roughness« of the finale that makes Tchaikovsky’s work a perennial favourite of Romantic violin concertos. Joshua Bell, the man with the legendary Stradivarius, incidentally presents the wonderful idea that there might be works of music whose aroma you can hear...


NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester

Joshua Bell violin

conductor Alan Gilbert


Piotr I. Tschaikowsky
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major, Op. 35

– Interval –

Gustav Mahler
Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor

Pre-Concert Talk

(in German)

19:00 / Elbphilharmonie, Großer Saal

Estimated end time



NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra Subscription C


Joshua Bell

Promoter: NDR

From the Mediatheque : Videos, Podcasts, Articles

Opening Night 2023: Joshua Bell & Alan Gilbert
Play Video

Video on demand from 1 Sep 2023 : Opening Night 2023: Joshua Bell & Alan Gilbert

The NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra opens the season with works by Dutilleux and Stravinsky, and the premiere of a brand-new work. The new Artist in Residence Joshua Bell is the star guest.

Play Video

: NDR Podcast: About Music

About flying conductor's batons, rehearsals and why presenting the news is like driving a car: a video podcast with conductor Alan Gilbert and newsreader Michail Paweletz (in English).

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Elbphilharmonie Plaza

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