Open Rehearsal: Susanna Mälkki and Nikolaj Znaider

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If you would like assistance purchasing tickets for patrons with disabilities, please call the box office at 415-864-6000.

Two superstars of classical music, violin virtuoso Nikolaj Znaider and conductor Susanna Mälkki, join forces to present Tchaikovsky's monumental Violin Concerto. Experience Mälkki’s "charismatic and dynamic podium presence" (Chicago Classical Review) and "the glowing tone" (The New York Times) of Znaider in a concert also featuring Scriabin's wonderfully mystical The Poem of Ecstasy.

Take a peek behind-the-scenes and experience a San Francisco Symphony performance in the making. It begins at 8:30am with coffee, doughnuts, and a half-hour informative talk at 9am. Then, watch as the conductor and musicians collaborate to bring the music to life.


Susanna Mälkki


San Francisco Symphony



Scriabin: The Poem of Ecstasy Op. 54.

At a Glance

Violin Concerto in D major
 1878  |  33 mins
Soloist Nikolaj Znaider makes his entrance in this firecracker of a concerto after a gracious and suspense-building orchestral introduction. The first movement is remarkably virtuosic while the second movement is melodically inspired. Tchaikovsky’s finale sounds like an urban, cultured picture of country.

Laterna Magica (The Magic Lantern)
 2008  |  20 mins
Kaija Saariaho’s Laterna Magica borrows its title from pioneering film director Ingmar Bergman’s autobiography, which he titled after an old name for an image projector. Saariaho sensed a parallel between the manipulation of projected images and how music, unfolding in real time in performance, is perceived by the listener.

The Poem of Ecstasy
 1907 |  22 mins
The operative word here is “ecstasy.” We might listen to this piece as a constantly unfolding rhapsodic effusion of motifs, titillating textures, and exorbitantly rich colors. “When you listen to Ecstasy,” Scriabin said, “look straight into the eye of the sun!”

JEANETTE YU is Director of Publications at the San Francisco Symphony.


Buy Tickets

  1. Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 10:00am

    Davies Symphony Hall

If you would like assistance purchasing tickets for patrons with disabilities, please call the box office at 415-864-6000.

Pre- and post-show Events

Inside Music, an informative talk by Elizabeth Seitz, begins one hour prior to the rehearsal. Free to ticketholders. Learn More.

2017-18 Season: Click to explore

Quote on Mälkki

Open Rehearsals are a working rehearsal. The pieces rehearsed are at the conductor’s discretion.

The Open Rehearsals are endowed by a bequest from the estate of Katharine Hanrahan. For information about including the SF Symphony in your estate plans, contact Gift Planning at 415-503-5482 or