Concertmaster Malin Broman leads the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Sinfonia Heroica, one of the portal works in the transition between the 18th century’s strict classicism and the stormy romance. In addition, world artist Peter Mattei makes a guest play with orchestral songs by Wilhelm Stenhammar and Gustav Mahler.

Due to the corona virus and its consequences, the concerts in Berwaldhallen which will be broadcast live in Swedish Radio P2 during March and April will be performed without an audience in place. This means that the concert will be broadcast with picture on Berwaldhallen Play.

Ludwig van Beethoven put his money where his mouth was. He was a free artist, not bound to the whims of dukes or kings like his older colleagues. In his third symphony from 1804, the revolutionary spirit is palpable. Originally, Beethoven was going to dedicate the symphony to Napoleon, but when he learned that Napoleon had named himself emperor he immediately, raging, changed his mind.

“Now he, too, will trample all over human rights”, a visibly agitated Beethoven supposedly cried, at least according to his friend and pupil Ferdinand Ries, who recounted the story. This happened in May 1804, just a few days after the symphony was finished. Instead of putting Napoleon’s name on the cover, he wrote Sinfonia Eroica – “heroic symphony”.

Beethoven presented in this seminal work a new kind of symphony: longer, more intensive and individualistic and more indomitable – indeed, heroic – than before. In this way, Beethoven was a musical revolutionary and entered the annals of music history as the titan he had become.

Opera singer Peter Mattei hardly needs introducing. He has made lauded performances on stages and in concert halls around the world and is hailed as one of the foremost singers in the world. At this concert, he will perform two orchestral Lieds with romantic and pastoral strokes.

Wilhelm Stenhammar wrote Floris and Blancheflour for solo voice and orchestra, his third Opus, twenty years old in the spring of 1891. Author and literary historian Oscar Levertin’s lyrics are inspired by a popular romantic story from the European Middle Ages. The story tells of prince Floris who saves his beloved, the poor girl Blancheflour, from the Emir of Babylon who has taken her as his slave. The lyrics are melancholic, even in the happier verses, and the elegantly orchestrated music has a bittersweet tone as well.

The collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn, featuring German folk poems and songs, became widely popular across the German-speaking world in the 19th century. Gustav Mahler set several of the texts to music, both as individual songs with piano or orchestral accompaniment, as well as weaving them into some of his symphonies. However, for the song cycle Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, songs of a journeyman, he wrote the lyrics himself.

In the second song, Ging heut’ Morgen über’s Feld, the journeyman looks upon the world and asks: “Is it not a fine world?” Those words may not ring as true in times like these as otherwise, but beyond isolation and pandemic, there is – fortunately – still a fine world waiting for us.

Text: David Saulesco and Christina Hedlund


dot 2019/2020





The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra is a multiple-award-winning ensemble renowned for its high artistic standard and stylistic breadth, as well as collaborations with the world’s finest composers, conductors, and soloists. It regularly tours all over Europe and the world and has an extensive and acclaimed recording catalogue.

Daniel Harding has been Music Director of the SRSO since 2007, and since 2019 also its Artistic Director. His tenure will last throughout the 2024/2025 season. Two of the orchestra’s former chief conductors, Herbert Blomstedt and Esa-Pekka Salonen, have since been named Conductors Laureate, and continue to perform regularly with the orchestra.

The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra performs at Berwaldhallen, concert hall of the Swedish Radio, and is a cornerstone of Swedish public service broadcasting. Its concerts are heard weekly on the Swedish classical radio P2 and regularly on national public television SVT. Several concerts are also streamed on-demand on Berwaldhallen Play and broadcast globally through the EBU.

In the winter of 2020, baritone Peter Mattei sang his first Wozzeck, the title role of Alban Berg’s opera, at the Metropolitan in New York. In January, 2020, he also performed Schubert’s Winterreise with pianist Lars-David Nilsson at Carnegie Hall in New York. Last season, the same duo went on an acclaimed Nordic concert tour with Winterreise, which led to an album recording as well as a TV version for SVT.

During 2020, Peter also appeared in the title role of Mozart’s Don Giovanni at both the Metropolitan, and at Wiener Staatsoper. The role gave him his international breakthrough in Peter Brooks’ production at Aix-en-Provence, and remains one of his favourite roles. He has since performed it at prominent venues, such as the Royal Swedish Opera, the Scottish Opera, the Opéra National de Paris, and the Teatro alla Scala.

Peter made a sensational debut performance as Amfortas in Wagner’s Parsifal at the Metropolitan in the spring of 2013. The following season, he saw yet another success as Wolfram in Tannhäuser at Staatsoper Berlin. Among his many other roles are the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro, the title role of Billy Budd, Don Fernando in Fidelio, and Pentheus in Daniel Börtz’ The Bacchae, directed by Ingmar Bergman at the Royal Swedish Opera.

Approximate concert length: 1 h 10 min (no intermission)

Here you can follow the Swedish Radio Berwaldhallen’s latest updated information about the Corona virus.