Symphony Concert N° 5

David Afkham Conductor
Frank Peter Zimmermann Violin

Edward Elgar

  • Violin Concerto in B minor op. 61

Franz Schmidt

  • Symphony No. 4 C major

A musical love token

The son of a music dealer, Edward Elgar worked as an organist until the age of 42. The road to fame was long indeed: it was not until the »Enigma Variations« of 1899, which were performed in Dresden just six years later, that the composer’s career finally took off. In 1905, Fritz Kreisler requested a violin concerto. Although Elgar promised one, he hesitated for some time before getting to work. Yet the violinist was confident of the result: »If he writes one, it will be a labour of love rather than profit« When Kreisler finally got his hands on Elgar’s score in 1910, he euphorically described it as »the greatest violin concerto since Beethoven«.

A concert introduction will be offered 45 minutes before the beginning of each performance in the opera cellar of the Semperoper.

  • Sunday
    11:00 Uhr
  • Monday
    19:00 Uhr
  • Tuesday
    19:00 Uhr

David Afkham

David Afkham is the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España, a position he has held since September 2019. Prior to this role, Afkham enjoyed a highly successful tenure as the orchestra's Principal Conductor since 2014.

Afkham’s career has been marked by a series of critically acclaimed performances and collaborations with some of the world's leading orchestras. He has appeared with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Munich Philharmonic, hr-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt, SWR Symphonieorchester, Vienna Symphony, Orchestre National de France, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, as well as with the NHK Symphony Orchestra and Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra among others. On tour, he has appeared with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Staatskapelle Dresden, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Staatskapelle Dresden.

With regular appearances in North America, Afkham has previously led the Boston Symphony in Tanglewood, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, and Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra in New York.

Recent successes at the opera pit, include performances of Richard Strauss's Arabella at the Semperoper Dresden and a new production of the work at the Teatro Real, Madrid.

Highlights of the 2023/24 season include debuts with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Detroit Symphony, as well as a return to the Minnesota Orchestra, among others.

Born in Freiburg, Germany, Afkham began piano and violin lessons at an early age. He went on to study piano, music theory and conducting at the Freiburg Music University, before continuing his studies at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Weimar. Afkham was the first recipient of the Bernard Haitink Fund for Young Talent and has assisted Maestro Haitink on several major projects, including complete symphonic cycles with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Concertgebouw Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra. From 2009-2012 he was Assistant Conductor of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester. Afkham won first prize at the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in London in 2008 and was the inaugural recipient of the Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award in 2010.