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San Francisco Symphony


Herald, Holler and Hallelujah!
[First San Francisco Symphony Performances]

Wynton Marsalis

Violin Concerto

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

An Alpine Symphony

Richard Strauss


Davies Symphony Hall

Fri, Sep 29, 2023 at 7:30PM

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Davies Symphony Hall

Sat, Sep 30, 2023 at 7:30PM

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Davies Symphony Hall

Sun, Oct 1, 2023 at 2:00PM

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If you would like assistance purchasing tickets for patrons with disabilities, please call the box office at 415-864-6000.

Event Description

Heckelphone, organ, thunder machine, and other orchestral effects make for a thrilling Alpine adventure, thanks to tour guide Richard Strauss, who translates these timbres into chirping birds, burbling brooks, yodeling shepherds, and raging storms. But first violin visionary Leonidas Kavakos blazes his own path into Tchaikovsky’s beloved concerto—beyond its famous razzle-dazzle, close to its beating heart.

These concerts are generously sponsored by the Athena T. Blackburn Endowed Fund for Russian Music.


One of Wynton Marsalis’s most recent pieces is Herald, Holler and Hallelujah!, a fanfare for orchestral brass, timpani, and percussion. As a trumpeter himself who straddles the jazz and classical worlds, he wrote the piece as a celebration of the brass family and its traditional role in religion, warfare, and ceremony.
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto didn’t please everybody, beginning with its dedicatee, Leopold Auer, who thought it was poorly written for the violin, and its first reviewer, Eduard Hanslick, who wrote a notoriously scathing 1881 review calling it “music that stinks to the ear.” But ever since then, it’s pleased nearly everyone else, becoming a beloved cornerstone of the violin repertoire.
Richard Strauss’s An Alpine Symphony is an enormous musical narrative of a mountain ascent and descent, told by a massive orchestra filled with nearly every instrument available to a late Romantic composer. Still, not everything is just about a day hike from sunrise to sunset—this being Strauss, there are metaphysical and perhaps egomaniacal implications, as the composer-climber-hero finds his way out of thickets, has a vision, and sings an elegy (probably for himself).

Enrich Your Experience

  • A pre-concert Q&A with SF Symphony Principal Horn Robert Ward and horn player Jonathan Ring hosted by Phillippa Cole will be presented from the stage one hour before the concert on September 29 from 6:30–7:00pm. Free to all ticketholders.
  • Get up close and personal with historic horns in a lobby exhibition. 
  • Head to the lobby bar to experience icy mountain freshness with a delicious beer from Germany.

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