Concertisti Classica, la musica classica in Italia
Classical Music in Italy
Close this search box.
“Painting with notes”, the Milan Symphony Orchestra directed by Yoel Gamzou combines music and painting
On the program are the famous Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky and the Symphony Mathis der Maler (“Mathis the Painter”) by Paul Hindemith
Organized by: Milan Symphony Orchestra
Reductions Under 35, Over 60, Agreements

Symphony Orchestra of Milan Presents

“ Season 2023 – 24 | Symphony ”
L'Milan Symphony Orchestra presents another nice themed concert on Friday 3 is Sunday May 5, 2024 annex'Auditorium by Largo Mahler: “Painting with notes” is the title of the program directed by Yoel Gamzou, born in 1987, currently Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the International Mahler Orchestra (IMO).

Painting is therefore the common thread that links the two pieces in the lineup, the one very famous – i Pictures of an exhibition of Modest Musorgski – the other a precious rarity for the wider public, the Symphony Mathis der Maler (“Mathis the painter”) by Paul Hindemith.

They don't need any introductions Pictures of an exhibition, the wonderful score of Musorgsky, written in 1874 as a suite for piano and then orchestrated by Ravel in 1922: inspired by the drawings and watercolors of his friend Viktor Hartmann, the composition offers infinite motifs of instrumental interest, exploiting a wide range of tonal resources of the piano until then unknown consider. Mussorgsky "paints" with notes, recalling in music the subjects of the different paintings, connected with great skill by a recurring element, the Promenades, walks, to be imagined as the visitor's movement from one painting to another.

The piece, which has become very popular, has also acted as a bridge between classical music and other genres: the most striking example is Pictures at an Exhibition, a rock reinterpretation by Emerson, Lake & Palmer dated 1971.

With the second part of the program we move from 19th century Russia to 20th century Germany, or rather, to the sixteenth century transfigured by modernity. For Paul Hindemith the Protestant Reformation is a topic of great interest, and it is precisely from this inclination that a work entitled Mathis der Maler, or “Mathis the painter”, freely inspired by the figure of the great artist Matthias Grünewald, and represents a sophisticated reflection on the role of the artist in society.

We are in 1525, and, during the German Peasants' War, the painter Mathis fights for artistic freedom, put to the test during the repressive climate of that period. The year of the work's genesis, 1935, is a clear clue to understanding the criticism that Hindemith hides within the story, indirectly denouncing the oppression of expression rights implemented by the Nazi regime.

Stylistically, almost creating a formal equivalent of the aesthetics of the period represented, Hindemith distances himself from the stylistic features that had characterized his writing up to that point, made up of polytonality, modes imported from Jazz and an often harsh instrumentation, in line with the modern trend. In Mathis der Maler's Symphony, first performed in 1934, Hindemith favors melodic linearity, echoes of ancient counterpoint and using predominantly tonal harmony.


Friday May 3 at 6.30 pm an introductory conference will be held in the Foyer of the Balcony, entitled "Creation. Art in the music of Hindemith and Mussorgsky”. Speaker Ioana Hadarig.
“Painting with notes”, the Milan Symphony Orchestra directed by Yoel Gamzou combines music and painting

Other information of interest

For the occasion, the Milan Symphony Orchestra hosts the group in the hall Urban Sketchers Milan, an organization active since 2008 that brings together people who love to talk about their city and the world through direct observation and sketches made on site.


Milan Symphony Orchestra
Yoel Gamzou director


Paul Hindemith
Mathis der Maler, Symphony

Modest Musorgsky
Paintings at an Exhibition (orch. Ravel)


3 May 2024 at 8pm
5 May 2024 at 4pm


At the Milan Auditorium “American Sounds” with Alondra de la Parra

The Chief Guest Conductor returns to the podium of the Symphony Orchestra . . .

Mahler Festival, the grandiose 'Symphony of the Thousand' in the Duomo with . . .

Claus Peter Flor conducts a very large ensemble in the famous Symphony no. 8 . . .

The Milan Symphony Orchestra celebrates its thirtieth anniversary with the Festival . . .

Ten great Italian orchestras together for the first time for an unprecedented event . . .

Concertisti Classica

Could it be interesting for you
  • Not to be missed




    Concert Season