Pictures at an Exhibition

Gustavo Dudamel and the Wiener Philharmoniker partner with Deutsche Grammophon for their Pictures at an Exhibition album release. The album couples two selections by Mussorgsky – Pictures at an Exhibition, orchestrated by Ravel, and A Night on Bald Mountain – with Tchaikovsky’s Waltz from Swan Lake.

While making the album at Vienna’s Musikverein in April 2016, Gustavo and members of the orchestra participated in workshops alongside young people from the El Sistema-inspired Superar. The program is based in one of Vienna’s most ethnically and culturally diverse neighborhoods and offers music lessons to around 900 children between the ages of five and sixteen.

“For our current recording project, a wonderful program of Russian delights, the Wiener Philharmoniker and I have joined forces with children from Superar, offering young people of a range of backgrounds the opportunity to engage with themes from Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition,” says Gustavo. “The sense of collective engagement through music – of individuals learning, listening and creating together – resonates in the living tradition of the Wiener Philharmoniker, inspires our artistic collaboration and fuels our desire to share music’s transformative power with future generations.”

Children from Superar were prompted to take their instruments onto the streets of Vienna’s 10th District to share their music-making with the community and document their experiences on camera. Images from their explorations will feature on the Pictures at an Exhibition album cover.

Continuing the efforts of their Mendelssohn Project, Gustavo and the Wiener Philharmoniker – in conjunction with the Musikverein, ORF and Deutsche Grammophon with support from Thomastik-Infeld – will share the proceeds from their 2012 recording of Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony to purchase high-quality strings for the string instruments of aspiring young musicians from El Sistema.