BSO is celebrating the 90th birthday of the pioneering composer Sofia Gubaidulina with upcoming concerts

The Boston Symphony Orchestra and music director Andris Nelsons are celebrating the 90th birthday of the important Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina from October 21 to 23 with the performance of her 2003 work The Light of the End. The play was commissioned by the BSO and premiered by the ensemble under the direction of Kurt Masur in 2003.

The BSO and its chamber ensembles have been important representatives of Ms. Gubaidulina’s music since 1988 and have presented more than 40 performances of her works, including the premiere of the BSO co-commission of the Triple Concerto for violin, cello and bayan (February 2017, under Andris Nelson’s direction) and many more Performances of the groundbreaking Offertorium, concert for violin and orchestra, which the BSO recorded with the soloist Gidon Kremer (Deutsche Grammophon, 1989).

The orchestra remains committed to the health and safety of viewers, musicians and staff. A mask and proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test is required to enter the hall. Details on the updated pandemic logs in Symphony Hall can be found here or at

The title of Sofia Gubaidulina’s The Light of the End refers to the bright sound of ancient cymbals at the end of the piece, a commissioned work by the BSO that was premiered by the orchestra under Kurt Masur. The unique harmonies and instrumental colors of the work create its expressive drama and are a worthy homage to Ms. Gubaidulina’s 90th birthday, which falls on October 24th.

To listen to an audio recording of The Light of the End’s 2003 BSO World Premiere, click here

A generation younger than Dmitri Shostakovich, Sofia Gubaidulina was one of many composers who were influenced by the older master’s music. Recognized today as a great composer, Ms. Gubaidulina was virtually unknown in the West until the early 1980s, but her reputation blossomed when her music was championed by such renowned musicians as Gidon Kremer and Mstislav Rostropovich.

Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 3 dates from 1936 and lies between the Paganini Rhapsody for piano and orchestra and the Symphonic Dances. Like these works, the symphony is characterized by a dazzling orchestration and Rachmaninoff’s well-known talent for long-spun melodies and convincing musical narratives. The three-movement symphony shows Rachmaninoff’s characteristic use of a recurring “motto” theme and the dies irae melody from the simple song Mass for the Dead.

In the orchestra’s 141st season, Andris Nelsons will conduct 13 of the season’s 24 programs at Symphony Hall in his eighth season as BSO Music Director. To read a statement from Music Director Andris Nelsons, click here.

Ticket information and discounted programs
Tickets for the 2021-22 BSO season starting at $ 25 can be purchased through or by calling 888-266-1200. Click here for additional ticket information, including details on the BSO’s discounted ticket programs – high school and college cards, $ 25 tickets for guests under 40, rush tickets, EBT Card to Culture and group sales – as well as access information for customers with disabilities.

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