Season Opening: Leonidas Kavakos / Yo-Yo Ma / Emanuel Ax

Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 (version for piano trio) & »Archduke Trio«

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Yo-Yo Ma / Emanuel Ax / Leonidas Kavakos
Yo-Yo Ma / Emanuel Ax / Leonidas Kavakos © Sony Classical

All-Star Trio

If the term all-star team applies to one line-up, then it’s this one: violinist Leonidas Kavakos, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Emanuel Ax are among the greatest in their respective fields – and are a force to be reckoned with as a trio. The Washington Post raved about the musical chemistry of their interaction as »almost supernatural«. For the opening of the Elbphilharmonie season, the three of them take to the stage of the Grand Hall, which they easily fill with their luxurious sound and concentrated charisma. They perform an exclusively Beethoven programme, including a special trio version of his Sixth Symphony.

Please note the change in the programme: Originally the Trios op. 70 and a trio arrangement of the First Symphony were planned.

Since their first encounter in 2014 at the Tanglewood Festival in the US, the three superstars have appeared together many times, and have released two albums with arrangements of his Symphonies Nos. 2, 5 and 6 under the title »Beethoven for Three«. »The fullness of sound here almost makes you forget that it’s not a large orchestra playing,«, marvelled Rondo magazine.

The Archduke Trio, which Beethoven dedicated to his aristocratic patron and music lover, the Habsburg Archduke Rudolph, and a trio arrangement of his Sixth Symphony will now be performed in the Elbphilharmonie. The tradition of arranging symphonies as chamber music for domestic use actually originated in 19th century bourgeois salon culture; composers sometimes provided such chamber versions parallel to the symphony itself. Based on this tradition, Kavakos, Ma and Ax have also commissioned new arrangements, for example from the Israeli pianist, arranger and former Ax student Shai Wosner. Through these chamber music versions, »you learn a lot about Beethoven’s combination of controlled madness and incredible lyricism,« explains Emanuel Ax. Yo-Yo Ma goes one step further: »We tend to put people in categories: soloists, chamber musicians, orchestral musicians and so on. Such pigeonholing prevents creativity and fruitful collaboration. That’s why we’re returning to a basic principle of music – interaction between friends who want to do something together.«


Leonidas Kavakos violin

Yo-Yo Ma violoncello

Emanuel Ax piano


Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 »Pastorale« / Bearbeitung für Klaviertrio von Shai Wosner

– Interval –

Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Trio in B-flat major, Op. 97 »Archduke Trio«

Promoter: HamburgMusik

During your visit

Elbphilharmonie Plaza

A public viewing platform on the 8th floor of the Elbphilharmonie

More about the Plaza

Food and Drink

Before the concert and in the interval

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Coughing, clapping, chatting

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