Chief conductor Klaus Mäkelä

Klaus Mäkelä © Marco Borggreve

Chief conductor Klaus Mäkelä.

Symphonies in the Shadow of Death

This concert was played:

  1. Symphony No. 14
  2. Symphony No. 6
  1. Klaus Mäkelä conductor
  2. Mika Kares bass
  3. Mirjam Mesak soprano

Klaus Mäkelä conducts great works by two symphonic giants: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s sixth symphony received its world premiere just before the composer’s demise, and Dmitri Shostakovich composed his Symphony No. 14 crippled by an intense fear of death.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) was at the summit of his career when he conducted the world premiere of his own sixth symphony in St. Petersburg, on 28 October, 1893. The symphony gained instant popularity, but he was never to experience his own success – he died suddenly only nine days later. Symphony No. 6 has been given the name Pathetique – the passionate. The composer indicated that he had a more concrete programme in mind, but he never had the opportunity to reveal whether the music had a concrete theme.

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975) was admitted to hospital in the very same city (at the time known as Leningrad) and in great pain, in January 1969. Visitors were forbidden due to a flu epidemic, and the composer took advantage of his enforced solitude to finish his Symphony No. 14. The work is based on eleven poems by poets who all died young. Shostakovich was strongly influenced by an intense fear of death during this time, and pushed the premiere forwards in order to be sure to be there. At the concert he took to the stage and explained his intention behind the work: to remind the listener that “life is beautiful”.

(Translation from Norwegian: Sarah Osa)

Soprano Asmik Grigorian, listed as soloist in our season programme, is unable to come because of current Norwegian entry restrictions.

We currently have reduced audience capacity due to infection control regulations. Some concerts are therefore sold out or nearly sold out. We hope to be able to welcome larger audiences soon!


  • Adult: 150 - 540 NOK
  • Senior: 150 - 430 NOK
  • Student: 150 - 270 NOK
  • Child: 150 NOK

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