Event Description

The premiere of Guillermo Figueroa as The Symphony’s Principal Conductor arrives—a new maestro in the new year! The afternoon will open with Jean Sibelius’s glorious tribute to his homeland, Finlandia. The next work on the program, Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto, brings to the forefront The Symphony’s own Principal Bassoon, Stefanie Przybylska, and the performance concludes with Brahms’s final symphony, his Symphony No. 4 in E minor.

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Concert Notes

SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2017, AT 4:00 PM
Bassoon Concerto in B-flat Major, K.191
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto is not just the one great concerto for that instrument—it is also one of Mozart’s earliest concertos. When he wrote it in June 1774 at the age of eighteen, he had as yet written no violin concertos, no other concertos for wind instruments, and only five piano concertos (and four of those were arrangements of music by other composers); Mozart’s great refinement of concerto form was still several years in the future. The year 1774, however, did see the creation of some of Mozart’s first authentic masterpieces—the Symphony No. 29 dates from April, the Missa Brevis K.192 came from later in June, and his opera La finta giardiniera was written that summer. If the Bassoon Concerto is not on the same level as these works, it is nevertheless a very pleasing and charming piece of music.

Finlandia, opus 26
Jean Sibelius

Finlandia has become a virtual symbol of Finland and its national aspirations, but this music achieved that status almost by accident. Sibelius originally composed it in 1899 for what seems like an innocuous occasion—a celebration to help raise money for newspaper pension funds—but this fiery music quickly caught the heart of the Finnish people and became a symbol of their national pride.

Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, opus 98

Johannes Brahms

The impact of Brahms’s final symphony defies simple description. This music has been called autumnal, tragic, melancholy, sad, serious, and elegiac, and all listeners instinctively feel its gravity and intensity in every bar. Yet from the tentative violin figure that opens the symphony to the mighty cataclysm that ends it forty minutes later, it is also exhilarating, glorious music, one of Brahms’s finest achievements and certainly one of the greatest symphonies ever written.

Brahms composed the Fourth Symphony in the tiny town of Murzzuschlag high in the Styrian Alps, about fifty miles southwest of Vienna. He wrote the first two movements in the summer of 1884 and the final two when he returned the following summer. Aware of the seriousness of this music, Brahms wrote to the conductor Hans von Bülow, “I am pondering whether this symphony will find more of a public. I fear it smacks of the climate of this country; the cherries are not sweet here, and you would certainly not eat them.”

The Symphony acknowledges with thanks our season program notes contributor, Eric Bromberger.

Stefanie Przybylska The Symphony's own Principal Bassoon

Stefanie Przybylska is The Santa Fe Symphony’s principal bassoonist. She recently appeared as a featured soloist with The Symphony as well as the New Mexico Symphony in works by Mozart and John Williams. Read more!

& Musicians

Principal Conductor

Guillermo Figueroa

Principal Bassoon

Stefanie Przybylska


The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra

Meet The Composers