Symphonie fantastique is the centerpiece of this week’s program, with additional audio material included from the Beyond the Score production about the symphony’s genesis. James Ehnes plays a fiery performance of Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto, with the concert opening with an overture by Carl Maria von Weber, which the CSO had never performed before. Conductor Stéphane Denève discusses the program in two interviews, and we retrieve a few Berlioz baubles from the vault to close the program, which are led by Sir Mark Elder.

Weber The Ruler of the Spirits Overture
Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 99
James Ehnes, violin
Berlioz Symphonie fantastique

Originally recorded at concerts on Dec. 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10, 2013

Berlioz Queen Mab Scherzo from Roméo et Juliette
Sir Mark Elder, conductor

Originally recorded at concerts on Jan. 5, 7 and 10, 2012

Photo: Geneviève Caron

This program will be available until March 11, 2017

The program notes for the Weber overture, Shostakovich violin concerto, and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique may be read here. Program notes for excerpts of Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette can be found here.

Performer Biographies

Stéphane Denève

James Ehnes

Sir Mark Elder

These biographies reflect information provided by the artists’ representatives at the time of his or her most recent performance at Symphony Center.  As a result, they may not be up to date. 



Berlioz: ‘Symphonie fantastique’ (complete performance)

This complete performance of Symphonie fantastique comprised the second half of the CSO's Berlioz Beyond the Score production (viewable here). The 27-year-old Hector Berlioz composed Symphonie fa...

Beyond the Score — Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique (new release)

The 27-year-old Hector Berlioz composed Symphonie fantastique both to explore German romanticism and to give his hometown of Paris a symphony of its own, something not yet native to this city of opera...

Shostakovich 5

Myung-Whun Chung conducts the CSO in Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5, composed in 1937. For downloads, please go to iTunes, or to HDTracks.com for hi-resolution versions....

Berlioz Symphonie fantastique, December 2013 (CSO)

Options for Program Books and Program Notes For most performances, our ushers will give you a free copy of our beautiful, informative Program Book as you are seated. Below are options for accessing...

Berlioz and his ‘fantastique’ journey

He’s young, not yet 30, and he’s in love. He leaves behind his fiancée to study abroad but soon receives a letter from her mother. It’s over. His love has decided to marry another. Enraged, the...

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4

A champion of Shostakovich's music, CSO Principal Conductor Bernard Haitink leads the Fourth Symphony, a dark and emotionally groundbreaking work. It's often the case that great art emerges through grea...

Elder conducts Dvořák, Rachmaninov and Sibelius

The famous Third Piano Concerto by Rachmaninov anchors this program, featuring a deft performance by Garrick Ohlsson, and conducted by Sir Mark Elder. Sibelius’ mercurial First Symphony closes, wit...

Van Zweden conducts a Rouse premiere, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky

Heimdall’s Trumpet, featuring CSO principal trumpet Christopher Martin, showcases Martin and the entire trumpet section in this CSO commission by Christopher Rouse. Jaap van Zweden leads the CSO i...

Vasily Petrenko in his CSO debut (Elgar, Barber, Shostakovich)

Vasily Petrenko makes his CSO conducting debut in a program of Elgar, Samuel Barber and Shostakovich. CSO concertmaster Robert Chen is the soloist in Barber’s moving Violin Concerto; a transcription...