Quartet of Critics

Discussion about Shostakovich’s Eighth Symphony – Elbphilharmonie PLUS / Hamburg International Music Festival

Sold out 8 Remaining tickets occasionally available at box office
Sold out 8 Remaining tickets occasionally available at box office
Eleonore Büning
Eleonore Büning © Monika Rittershaus
Joachim Mischke
Joachim Mischke © privat
Susann El Kassar
Susann El Kassar © Heike Stachowiak
Albrecht Thiemann
Albrecht Thiemann © Opernwelt / Max Zerrahn

Shostakovich’s Eighth Symphony under the magnifying glass

The German music journalists Eleonore Büning, Susann El Kassar, Joachim Mischke and Albrecht Thiemann are the »Quartet of Critics«. This panel of experts regularly discusses important works of classical music and is made up of different members for each discussion. As part of the Hamburg International Music Festival, the quartet will be taking on Dmitri Shostakovich’s Eighth Symphony, which can be heard in concert with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin under Vladimir Jurowski.

What does the Eighth Symphony mean to us today? How is and how has it been interpreted since its Moscow premiere in 1943, in the middle of the war? Why is the Eighth still overshadowed by his Seventh, the legendary »Leningrad« Symphony? Are we dealing with genuinely »Russian« music? The quartet of critics discusses these and other questions on the basis of numerous audio samples from the five movements of the composition. In a direct comparison of various recordings – both historical and more recent – they paint a multi-layered picture of a masterpiece that is still underrated.

Music critics and journalists from Germany, Austria and Switzerland have joined forces in the »German Record Critics’ Award« association to regularly honour outstanding music and word productions. This committee of a maximum of 160 jurors attaches great importance to reaching independent judgements, uninfluenced by the interests of record and/or audio book producers. A »quartet of critics« meets regularly to publicly discuss a particular work and compare recordings.


Eleonore Büning talk

Susann El Kassar talk

Joachim Mischke talk

Albrecht Thiemann talk


Hamburg International Music Festival

Promoter: HamburgMusik