Tugan Sokhiev conducts music from “Swan Lake”

Tugan Sokhiev (photo: Marco Borggreve)

Peter Tchaikovsky’s music for Swan Lake is characterized by the contrast between radiant elegance on the one hand and the dark tones of a tragic fairy tale on the other. For his guest appearance, Tugan Sokhiev has chosen excerpts from the score that have made a deep impression on him. Drama and dazzling beauty also converge in the Cello Concerto by the high Romantic French composer Édouard Lalo. The solo part, in particular, is splendid; at times it sings tenderly, at times it seems to tell a story. It will be interpreted by Bruno Delepelaire, first principal cellist of the Berliner Philharmoniker.

Berliner Philharmoniker

Tugan Sokhiev conductor

Bruno Delepelaire cello

Antonín Dvořák

Carnival Overture, op. 92

Edouard Lalo

Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in D minor

Bruno Delepelaire cello

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Swan Lake-Suite (compiled by Tugan Sokhiev)

Dates and Tickets


Tugan Sokhiev

“The only authority that exists for a conductor is the music itself,” says Tugan Sokhiev. The conductor, who was born in North Ossetia, regards himself as a medium through which the music speaks to the orchestra and the audience, he explained during an interview for the Digital Concert Hall. What fascinated him the most about the conducting profession as a youth was the fact that a single person can have an influence on so many musicians. This realization convinced him to pursue a conducting career himself. He was one of the last students of the legendary teacher Ilya Musin at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. In 2000 he won the third International Prokofiev Competition, then launched his career, which has taken him to many international opera houses and concert halls. Tugan Sokhiev was music director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin from 2012 to 2016, a position he also held with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse from 2008 to 2022 and with Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre from 2014 to 2022. He made his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in 2010 and at nearly every guest appearance since then has demonstrated his love for Russian and French repertoire. He makes the sometimes powerful, sometimes delicate colours of these works glow with passion and precision. His recipe for success? “It’s important to rehearse the right passages so that the orchestra feels secure, so they can play quite freely during the concert.”

Bruno Delepelaire

Regardless of whether Bruno Delepelaire brings the cello repertoire to life “with clarity and fire” (Der Tagesspiegel) or reaches undreamed-of realms of expression with deep introspection, the Paris-born musician, who studied in his native city and in Berlin, “plays so beautifully, it can bring one to tears” (Berliner Morgenpost). He has been first principal cellist of the Berliner Philharmoniker since November 2013, but he already played in the orchestra before that: “I still remember my first concert with the Berliner Philharmoniker very well. I was a scholar at the Karajan Academy at that time, and we played Beethoven’s Third Symphony under Bernard Haitink. The energy emanating from the orchestra was incredible. I immediately felt swept away – it was a dream!” Only a few months after his appointment, Bruno Delepelaire played the solo cello part in Strauss’s Don Quixote with the orchestra, conducted by Semyon Bychkov. Since then, he has appeared several times as soloist with the Berliner Philharmoniker – in such varied works as Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 2 and John Williams’s Elegy for Cello and Orchestra. Bruno Delepelaire, who also appears frequently as a guest with other orchestras, has won prestigious awards, both as a soloist and with his string quartet Quatuor Cavatine. He also performs as a chamber musician in the Berlin Piano Quartet and with the 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic.

Bruno Delepelaire (photo: Sebastian Hänel)

Composing against the Darkness

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Ballet