German Titans

May 16, 2020


A Message from Maestra Schubert


If this had been a “normal” spring, the musicians of the DuPage Symphony Orchestra would be putting the final touches on our concept of the magnificent Symphony No. 1 in D Major by Gustav Mahler. I can’t begin to tell you how sorry we are that we aren’t able to bring you this enormously powerful and wonderfully evocative piece in concert!


We have truly missed getting together every Tuesday evening for DSO rehearsals. As an orchestra conductor, I live for these rehearsals and performances. It has been strangely disorienting not to be able to engage in the collaborative endeavor of music-making, which provides so much inspiration – as well as endless joy – in my life. The greatest joy, of course, is to share our love of music with our listeners. We have all missed that more than anything.


We had hoped to bring you Howard Hanson’s Romantic Symphony in March, as well as two German masterpieces in May. Instead, though, we are pleased to share some background information and a few resources about the pieces that we planned to perform, so that you can now enjoy them in the comfort of your own home. 


We sincerely hope that we will be able to return to a schedule of regular rehearsals and performances very soon. Our 2020-2021 DSO season brochure has been mailed, so please be on the lookout to receive your copy. We continue to work with local city officials to ensure a safe performance environment for everyone. Please check our website for the most up-to-date performance information.


We have a wonderful lineup of soloists and repertoire planned for next season and I can assure you that when we are able to perform again, the DuPage Symphony will be stronger than ever: with a solid group of talented, dedicated, and enthusiastic musicians, presenting a wide array of great orchestral music on the Wentz Hall stage!  


Please join us – virtually, for the time being, and back in live concert performances as soon as possible.


In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy, and take good care of yourself and your loved ones.


Yours in music,
– Barbara Schubert
Music Director and Conductor,
DuPage Symphony Orchestra



Program Book: Download a copy of the program book here.











Guest Soloist: Wynona Wang (formerly Yi-Nuo Wang), piano

Chinese pianist Wynona Wang was selected as First Prize winner of the 2018 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, which is just the latest in a series of impressive first prize performances, along with the 2017 Wideman International Piano Competition in Louisiana.  Among the many performance prizes awarded to her with these victories, she will make her New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall during the 2019-20 season on the CAG Winners series.

Please read Wynona Wang's full biography in the program book linked above.

Listen & Watch here: Watch some of her performances on her website; Rachmaninoff Etude-Tableaux in D minor, Op. 39, No. 8, 
Liszt Dante Sonata, or Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini  

Concerto No. 3 in C minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 37

Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven wrote his Third Piano Concerto in 1796, the same year he started to go deaf. The bulk of the composition took 
place in 1802, though, when, on retreat outside Vienna, he wrote: “I would have ended my life - it was only my art that held me back. Ah, it seemed to me impossible to leave the world until I had brought forth all that I felt was within me.” This letter became known as the “Heiligenstadt Testament” and was published in 1828, the year after Beethoven’s death.

The earliest sketch for Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto dates to as early as 1796 when he was touring in Prague and Berlin. This is the same year Napoleon won a decisive victory over Austria at the Battle of Arcole. Many commentators have noted the military, march-like character of the work’s opening, suggesting the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon as a source of inspiration for the work.  

Listen & Watch here: Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Bernard Haitink, featuring Arthur Rubenstein

Symphony No. 1 in D Major

Gustav Mahler

Gustav Mahler was born in 1870 to a family that came from eastern Bohemia before settling in the German town of Kaliste, he discovered a piano in his grandmother’s attic at age six, and four years later gave his first public performance. After graduating from the Vienna Conservatory, he went on to become the director of New York’s Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic at the turn of the 20th century.

Known by its nickname “Titan,” Mahler’s First Symphony wasn’t always well understood.  The work, which originally contained five movements, was envisioned by Mahler as a large symphonic poem. The third movement in particular – with its assortment of distorted versions of Frère Jacques, a funeral march, some dance-band music, and Wayfarer songs – used to upset audiences.  


Listen & Watch here: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Leonard Bernstein

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