This orchestra expertly pranked their conductor with a Mahler/Happy Birthday mashup

8 November 2017, 17:16

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra can play Mahler magnificently - but today they thought they would ambush their maestro with a birthday tune.

Italian conductor Daniele Gatti is the Chief Conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam - and he loves Mahler. On Monday the maestro thought he was taking the podium to rehearse the first movement of Mahler's Fourth Symphony. All started as he was expecting, before Mahler's score morphed into something else altogether.

Monday was his 56th birthday. And what a good sport - he even conducted along.

Bravo to the Concertgebouw, and of course belated happy returns to maestro Gatti. If you fancy Mahler 4 without interruption, you can watch it live from the Concertgebouw tonight on the orchestra's Facebook page.

And if you're in the mood for another orchestral prank - here's what happened when a US orchestra decided to have some fun at the expense of their British conductor...