The Full Works Concert: Thursday 26 March 2015, 8pm

The musicians of the Boston Symphony Orchestra play Brahms, Ravel, Tchaikovsky and a recently released disc of Mozart’s Horn Quintet.

Founded in 1881, the Boston Symphony Orchestra is one of America's 'Big Five' orchestras. Its first conductor was George Henschel, who was a baritone as well as conductor, and a close friend of Brahms. Henschel devised innovative orchestral seating charts and sent them to Brahms, who replied approvingly. The orchestra's four subsequent music directors were all trained in Austria.

The orchestra made its first acoustical recordings in 1917, and its first electrical recordings in the late 1920s.

From 1919 to 1924, Pierre Monteux – because of a musician's strike – was able to replace 30 players, changing the orchestra's sound. It developed a reputation for a 'French' sound which persists to some degree to this day. During the directorship of Serge Koussevitzky, the orchestra's reputation increased; one million radio listeners tuned in when Koussevitzky and the orchestra were the first to perform a live concert for radio broadcast, which they did on NBC in 1926.

James Levine became the first American-born music director of the BSO in 2004. He received critical praise for revitalizing the quality and repertoire since the beginning of his tenure, including championing contemporary composers.

The BSO has featured on a number of film scores, including John Williams's Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan.


Hector Berlioz: Roman Carnival Overture
Charles Munch conducts the Boston Symphony Orchestra

Peter Illich Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme
Cello: Mstislav Rostropovich
Seiji Ozawa conducts the Boston Symphony Orchestra

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Horn Quintet in E-flat major
Boston Symphony Chamber Players

Johannes Brahms: Variations on a Theme of Haydn
Bernard Haitink conducts the Boston Symphony Orchestra

Antonin Dvorak: Romance in F minor
Seiji Ozawa conducts the Boston Symphony Orchestra

Maurice Ravel: Ma Mere L'Oye
Seiji Ozawa conducts the Boston Symphony Orchestra

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