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Thu 22.08.19
Bruckner+ Gabrieli

Sinfonieorchester Basel

Ivor Bolton, conductor

Giovanni Gabrieli/Bruno Maderna: In ecclesiis

Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 in C minor, WAB 108

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18.30 h: Introduction to the concert (in German) at the Allgemeine Lesegesellschaft Basel

The “Bruckner+” Cycle in the Basel Minster is drawing to a close. Anton Bruckner’s 7th Symphony finally gained him his long-desired breakthrough as a symphonic composer, but his new symphony initially caused him to fall into a deep depression. Bruckner’s contemporaries were dismissive of the Eighth (Achte); his music was not appreciated. It took numerous suggestions for improvement and three further years of work before the new version of the full-length work was a success.

The ‹+› in this concert stands for Bruno Maderna's arrangement of Giovanni Gabrielis’ In ecclesiis. Maderna’s estate is in the custody of the Paul Sacher Foundation. Maderna founded the “Studio Fonologica Musicale”
for electronic music with Luciano Berio in Milan in 1955. However, their compositional creativity drew just as much from existing soundscapes as well. With their arrangements,
they wanted to present the originals of the old masters in the new light of modern orchestral sounds. In ecclesiis refers to the original sound space of the Basilica di San Marco and its acoustic conditions, for which Gabrieli wrote the work in Venice.

Thursday, 22. August 07:30 PM
Basel Minster
Ivor Bolton

Thu 24.10.19

Sinfonieorchester Basel
Alexander Melnikov
, piano
Immanuel Richter, trumpet
Peter Simonischek, Speaker
Ladies of the Balthasar Neumann Choir
Ivor Bolton
, conductor

Gabriel FauréCaligula, op. 52
Dmitri Shostakovich: Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and String Orchestra No. 1 in C minor, op. 35

Ludwig van Beethoven: excerpts from the ballet music The Creatures of Prometheus, op. 43, with texts by Alain Claude Sulzer

6.30pm: Introduction to the concert (in German) at the Theater Basel

The music becomes more dramatic when Emperor Caligula meets the titan Prometheus. Fauré wrote stage music for women’s choirs and orchestras for Alexandre Dumas’ tragedy Caligula, who Tchaikovsky is said to have moved to tears during the première. In contrast, in the aftermath of the French Revolution, Beethoven composed electrifying music to the ballet The Creatures of Prometheus (Geschöpfe des Prometheus) – a musical firework filled with hope and expectation. Beethoven could not have known that his “Promethean” hero Napoleon would have himself crowned Emperor only a few years later. The choreography of the narrative ballet was lost. The Basel author, Alain Claude Sulzer, has written his own text version in time for the Beethoven year which was performed first by an actor of the Viennese Burgtheater, Peter Simonischek.

The pianist Alexander Melnikow meets the SOB solo trumpeter Immanuel Richter in a grotesque dialogue between Caligula and Prometheus in Schostakovitsch’s 1st Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and String Orchestra, in which Beethoven quotes are tossed around.

Thursday, 24. October 07:30 PM
Theater Basel, Grosse Bühne
Peter Simonischek

Thu 23.01.20
Femmes fatales

Sinfonieorchester Basel

Alice Sara Ott, piano

Michał Nesterowicz, conductor

Wojciech Kilar: Orawa for string orchestras

Joseph Haydn: Concerto for Piano (Harpsichord) and Orchestra in D major, Hob. XVIII:11

Georges Bizet: Excerpts from the suites of L’Arlésienne and Carmen

6.30pm: Introduction to the concert (in German) in the Foyer of the Theater Basel.

Joseph Haydn’s piano concerts have a tough time nowadays; they are always overshadowed by the works of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. However, it is a completely other story when it comes to the D major Concerto, which became a virtual hit with his Rondo all' Ungarese.

Nowadays, it is hard to imagine that Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen flopped during its premiere in Paris. The music was not at fault but rather the opera text, which was deemed controversial for that time. Bizet seems to have had a penchant for tragic female figures. Carmen drives a succession of men crazy; however, she prefers to keep her freedom, while in L’Arlésienne a young country lad is driven to take his own life as a result of his unrequited love for a young girl. In his work Orawa, the Polish composer Wojciech Kilar was thinking of the river of the same name and the mountains in the Carpathians – it is a type of pastoral symphony for strings from the late 20th century. A journey through Eastern European, Spanish and French sounds with the German-Japanese pianist Alice Sara Ott and conducted by Michal Nesterowicz.

Thursday, 23. January 07:30 PM
Theater Basel, Grosse Bühne
Alice Sara Ott

Thu 12.03.20
Symphonia Domestica

Sinfonieorchester Basel
Arabella Steinbacher,
Marek Janowski, conductor

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E minor, op. 64

Richard StraussSinfonia domestica, op. 53, TrV 209

6.30pm: Introduction to the concert (in German) at the Musical Theater (1st floor, not accessible for wheelchairs)

In the age of social media, some artists or politicians often send their private thoughts into the global network shortly before their performance. Therefore, the musical self-portrayal of the composer Richard Strauss in his Symphonia Domestica (Sinfonia domestica) does not seem be particularly explosive nowadays. Strauss initially referred to the work as “My home. A symphonic self- and family portrait. Later it evolved into the academically sober short title of Symphonia Domestica. His critics have long since railed against the “composer’s extroverted approach” of disclosing private information through his music. Even today, it has been a challenge to perform this symphony. However, this tends to be due to its opulent orchestral composition and the particularly high technical requirements of the numerous soloists in the orchestra. Richard Strauss developed the premiere with the New York Philharmonic in 15 rehearsals. If a performance gets off the ground, you will be fascinated by the myriad musical ideas, the development and the orchestral tones of this grandiose instrumentation.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung recently described Arabella Steinbacher as a “radiant violin queen”. Led by conductor Marek Janowski, she will début in Basel with Mendelssohn’s violin concerto.

Thursday, 12. March 07:30 PM
Musical Theater Basel
Arabella Steinbacher

Thu 07.05.20
Golden Hollywood

Sinfonieorchester Basel
John Wilson,

Alfred NewmanFox Fanfare

Erich Wolfgang KorngoldKings Row, Main Title

David RaksinLaura

Bernard HerrmannPsycho, Suite for Strings 

Erich Wolfgang KorngoldThe Adventures of Robin Hood 

Jerome MorossThe Big Country, Main Title

Max SteinerGone with the Wind, Suite

Franz WaxmanA Place in the Sun, Suite

Scott BradleyTom and Jerry at MGM 

Miklós RózsaParade of the Charioteers from Ben Hur

6.30pm: Introduction to the concert (in German) at the Musical Theater (1st floor, not accessible for wheelchairs)

Virtually no other place epitomises the American dream “of plate washer to millionaire” more strongly than Hollywood. With the merger of films and musicals, a golden age began in Los Angeles in the 1920s. In the last few years, British conductor John Wilson has rescued and painstakingly restored numerous scores from this phase of American film history, which lasted until 1960. However, during this concert he will not take his usual place behind the baton of his world-renowned John Wilson orchestra, with whom he guest stars regularly during the BBC Proms, but instead get the Sinfonieorchester Basel “swinging”. Besides the melodies from famous film classics such as Gone with the Wind, Psycho and Ben Hur Tom and Jerry also needs to take pride of place.

Thursday, 07. May 07:30 PM
Musical Theater Basel
Gene Tierney

Thu 18.06.20
Bruckner+ Gubaidulina

Sinfonieorchester Basel

Sebastian Bohren, violin

Ivor Bolton, conductor

Sofia Gubaidulina: Offertorium, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra 
Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, WAB 109 (fragment) 

6.30pm: Introduction to the concert (in German) at the Allgemeine Lesegesellschaft Basel

“I have done my duty on Earth; I have done what I could.” Just like Ludwig van Beethoven, Anton Bruckner realised ten years before his death that the 9th Symphony would be his last. Nevertheless, he was desperate to complete the Ninth (Neunte). Tragically, it remained a fragment dedicate to “the good lord”. The performance of the 9th Symphony concludes the four-yearly “Bruckner+ Cycle” of the Sinfonieorchester Basel in the Basel Minster.

Deep faith in particular connects Sofia Gubaidulina, who converted from Islam to Christianity, with Anton Bruckner. The Russian composer, whose entire work is now in the Paul Sacher Foundation, was ostracised in the socialist country. After its premiere in Vienna in 1981, the violin concerto Offertorium offered her a way through the iron curtain to the west, and finally to the entire world. The young Swiss violinist Sebastian Bohren is making his début in the Sinfonieorchester Basel with one of the most important violin concerts of the present day.

Thursday, 18. June 07:30 PM
Basel Minster
Anton Bruckner

Basel Minster Basler Münster Saalplan
Theater Basel Theater Basel
Musical Theater Basel Saalplan Musical Theater Basel

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(3rd category seats in the minster with obstructed views)