Simon Rattle | Picture: Oliver Helbig

Concert information

At the invitation of the Berliner Philharmoniker


Mozart’s final three symphonies reveal the composer at the absolute height of his powers, while invoking in listeners the most diverse moods and emotions. Symphony No. 39 encompasses both tension and splendour, No. 40 is full of mystery and drama, while the “Jupiter” echoes with both solemnity and triumph. Simon Rattle and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra share a special affinity for these works, which they approach with verve, transparency and a rich sense of tonal variety.


Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Sir Simon Rattle conductor


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 39 in E flat major, K. 543

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 551 “Jupiter”

Main Auditorium

26 to 80 €

Series O: International Chamber Orchestras

Mysterious symphonies
Mozart’s last three symphonies 

Mozart’s Symphonies Nos. 39, 40 and 41 are widely seen as the zenith of his output as a symphonist, but numerous myths have grown up around them. Did their composer intend them as his legacy? Was he already aware of his impending death? A number of questions have been answered by Mozart scholars, but others remain shrouded in mystery.


Sir Simon Rattle

Drumming, playing the piano, conducting recordings - Simon Rattle was obsessed with music from an early age. He began learning the drums at the age of four, later adding piano and violin, and at the age of 16 he was already studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London. His collaboration with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra - first as principal conductor and artistic advisor, then as music director - made the Liverpool-born conductor famous. 

At his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1987, he impressed with his energetic conducting style, his unconditional enthusiasm for the music, and his artistic vision. It was for these qualities, among others, that the orchestra chose him as chief conductor in 2002. During his 16-year tenure, he and the musicians set the course for the future: the education programme, the Digital Concert Hall streaming portal and the Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings label were founded. In addition to symphonic cycles by Sibelius, Mahler, Brahms, Schumann and Beethoven, artistic highlights of the collaboration included the performances of Bach's St Matthew and St John Passion staged by Peter Sellars and the introduction of the Late Night Concerts. Even after the end of his tenure, Sir Simon Rattle - Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra from 2017 to 2023 and Chief Conductor of the Bavarian Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra since 2023/24 - remains closely associated with the Berliner Philharmoniker.

Mahler Chamber Orchestra

The Mahler Chamber Orchestra is one of world’s leading chamber orchestras, thanks not least to its nuanced, transparent and powerful sound. It was founded in 1997 by former members of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, whose then chief conductor Claudio Abbado was instrumental in guiding the ensemble in its early years. The Mahler Chamber Orchestra is a free, self-governing ensemble. 

It defines itself as a ‘nomadic collective’, meeting regularly for projects and tours in Europe and around the world. The core of the orchestra consists of 45 members from 20 countries. Its characteristic sound is the result of an intensive artistic dialogue – orchestral repertoire is approached like chamber music. The orchestra has a long-standing artistic partnership with Daniel Harding, its current honorary conductor. Other partners include the violinist Pekka Kuusisto and the pianists Mitsuko Uchida and Leif Ove Andsnes. While the Mahler Chamber Orchestra initially focussed on the classical-romantic repertoire, contemporary music was also added over time. In 2012, for example, George Benjamin composed the opera Written on Skin, which was performed at the Philharmonie Berlin in 2018, for the orchestra's specific sound. Today, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra is a regular guest at Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation concerts.