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Why You'll Love This Concert

Few classical composers are as beloved as Johannes Brahms, and few of his pieces are as popular as the works in this concert!

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piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion, strings


Composed 1880. First performance: 4 January 1881. University of Breslau (modern Wrocław, Poland). Johannes Brahms, conductor.

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solo horn, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, strings


Composed 1942. First performance: 11 August 1943, Salzburg Festival. Gottfried von Freiberg, horn. Vienna Philharmonic. Karl Böhm, conductor.

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2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani, strings


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Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture bubbles over with playfulness and humor. Originally composed for a college graduation ceremony (at which the composer was awarded an honorary doctorate), you might expect Brahms to provide a serious piece befitting the solemn occasion. Instead, he delivered an energetic romp that celebrated the less studious side of college life. Countless melodies unfold one after the other— each of them borrowed from student drinking songs that would definitely have been recognized by the graduates in the audience.

Then, the winner of the annual Concerto Competition, Jacob White, performs Richard Strauss' carefree Horn Concerto No. 2.

The evening concludes with one of Brahms' most personal works — his Symphony No. 3. Its score contains the full range of human emotion, from dark despair to complete elation.

How a Banned Tune Delayed a Premiere

The “rollicking potpourri of student songs” that Brahms wove into his Academic Festival Overture is a well-known and often celebrated fact. And with good reason. The piece displays much of what makes his work so enduring and beloved: it is both fun and an incredible display of musical talent.

Less discussed than the glass-clinking inspiration is how Brahms opens the piece. It begins with “Wir hatten gebauet ein stattliches Haus” (“We had built a stately home”), a tune he plucked from a student organization that advocated for the unification of independent German principalities. “Wir hatten gebauet” was so controversial it had been banned for decades.

Germany unified in 1871, and the ban had long been lifted throughout the new German Empire by the time of the piece’s 1881 premiere. However, it was still in effect in Vienna, capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The result was a two-week delay in the premiere of Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture.

Concerto Competition Winner — Jacob White

Since 1976, University of Redlands School of Music students have competed for the opportunity to perform as soloist during a Redlands Symphony Orchestra concert. This year’s Concerto Competition winner, Jacob White, began playing the horn when he was just ten years old.

White will be performing Richard Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 2. Deeply influenced by Mozart, the pastoral tones used in this concerto demand the agility of a virtuoso, allowing White to showcase his talent.

Free but Joyful Modal Tension

We can thank Brahms’ motive, “frei aber froh” (“free but joyful”), for the tension heard in his Symphony No. 3 in F major. Op. 90. With the prominently featured winds, there is no coyness in exposing the main themes. Rather, the opening moments highlight the natural tension between major and minor.

Safety Improvements

On every concert night, you will notice changes designed to keep everyone safe, secure, and comfortable during your evening at the symphony. Learn about our safety improvements.

Additional Information

What a wonderful MOZART concert night! Redlands Symphony gave me the opportunity to hang out with my girlfriends. We had a wonderful dinner at a local restaurant, Olive & Citrus, and the music topped off our time together!

Directions to Redlands

Redlands is conveniently located less than 30 minutes from Riverside, Loma Linda, Yucaipa, Highland, and Beaumont. From Hemet, it’s just a short jaunt north on CA-79 and West on I-10. It is easily accessible from Los Angeles 60 miles east along Hwy 10. And from San Diego, it’s a beautiful, 2-hour drive north along I-15 and I-215.

Getting ready to attend our concert? View our directions page.

Directions to Memorial Chapel at University of Redlands

All regular season concerts are held at Memorial Chapel on the University of Redlands campus.

Click here to get directions to the chapel.

Sponsored By:

Bob & Betsy Heinze

Concert Info

Performed by: Redlands Symphony 05/28/22 at 08:00pm

Performed at: Memorial Chapel 1200 E. Colton Ave.Redlands, CA 92373 Get Directions


Photo of Jacob White by Emily Passini

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