Gustavo Dudamel with Mahler’s Fifth Symphony

(photo: Stephan Rabold)

Gustavo Dudamel, standing in for the ill Zubin Mehta, conducts one of Gustav Mahler’s most popular works: his Fifth Symphony. It became famous above all for its gentle Adagietto – a musical declaration of love to his wife Alma. The movement forms the resting point of the symphony, which takes us through very ambivalent emotional worlds: grief, longing, grotesquerie, and triumph. The programme also includes a new work by Milica Djordjević, winner of the 2020 Claudio Abbado Composition Prize. To start off, we celebrate the Philharmonie’s 60th birthday – with a fanfare by Boris Blacher written for the opening on 15 October 1963.

Dates and Tickets


Gustavo Dudamel

“The evening is likely to go down as the most exciting conducting debut in the orchestra’s history,” wrote the Tagesspiegel after the Waldbühne concert in 2008, which was Gustavo Dudamel’s first time conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker. The then 27-year-old conductor, a graduate of the Venezuelan music education programme “El Sistema” and winner of the International Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition, embarked on a meteoric career that led him to the major international orchestras and opera houses. He is currently music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as chief conductor designate of the New York Philharmonic. He has also led the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela since the age of 18. The Venezuelan musician has a close artistic friendship with the Berliner Philharmoniker. Over the past 15 years, Dudamel has come regularly to Berlin, often conducting two programmes per season and displaying a wide artistic range in his repertoire: whether works by Russian or French composers, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Wagner, Mahler or new music – he has always impressed with his electrifying, energetic style of music-making. Time and again, the orchestra has also invited him to perform at concert events with media impact: his Waldbühne appearance in 2008 was followed by the New Year’s Eve Concert in 2010, the Europakonzert in Vienna in 2012, and two more Waldbühne concerts in 2014 and 2017. He also accompanied the orchestra on its major tour of Asia in 2018 – further proof of their great mutual appreciation.

The Fragility of Love

The story of Gustav and Alma Mahler


About “Mali svitac ...” by Milica Djordjević