The Roots: Brahms’ Inspiration


Music Director Thomas Dausgaard leads an exploration into the roots of Brahms’ musical inspiration, from the rhythmic folk dances of Hungary to the transcendent Baroque forms found in the composer’s final symphony. Dive into the whirling energy and deep pathos of Romani folk music in Kodály’s toe-tapping Dances of Galánta, inspired by the folk and army bands the young composer heard in his youth. Hungarian violinist Roby Lakatos continues this high-octane program, weaving traditional Romani folk music into the fabric of Brahms’ ever-popular Hungarian Dances. Then, we pivot to the passionate intensity of Brahms’ final symphony, one of his most enduringly popular and astonishing works. 

Masterworks Series

Dates and Tickets

  • 4 Feb (Thu) 2021 7:30PM
  • 6 Feb (Sat) 2021 8:00PM

Running time

1 hour, 23 minutes

Doors open

1 hour, 30 minutes prior to performance


S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium - Benaroya Hall


Thomas Dausgaard


Music Director of the Seattle Symphony, Danish conductor Thomas Dausgaard is esteemed for his creativity and innovative programming, the excitement of his live performances and his extensive catalogue of critically acclaimed recordings. A renowned recording artist with over 70 discs to his name, Dausgaard’s releases with the Seattle Symphony have garnered critical acclaim resulting in international honors including Gramophone’s 2018 Orchestra of the Year Award and a Grammy nomination for Best Orchestral Performance.

Roby Lakatos


Roby Lakatos is not only a virtuoso on the violin, but also an extremely versatile musician who is equally adept to performing classical music, jazz and the folk idiom of his home country of Hungary. He is hard to define: most often, he is described as a Gypsy violinist, a devil’s fiddler, classical master, jazz improviser, composer and arranger — and his unique artistic personality is all that. He is a universal musician combining brilliant technique that makes him one of the best violinists in the world with creativity in improvisation and composing power. His concert career developed gradually, and now Roby Lakatos spends most of his time performing in various stages around the world. In Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan he first performed in 1999, and has since been regularly playing in Asia. He records for Hungarian and Belgian television networks and has also appeared on German television and German national radio stations, as well as on BBC in London. Roby Lakatos plays a violin made by Fabien Gram.

Roby Lakatos Ensemble

With a presentation of a unique style, which is a fusion of typical Gipsy music elements and jazz with improvisation as an important feature and specific technical effects, some of which Lakatos created himself (such as the fascinating left-hand pizzicato), Roby and his ensemble also reflected a universal approach to the musical material by including on their CD the works by composers ranging from Zoltán Kodály and Johannes Brahms to John Williams’ music for Schindler's List and Charles Aznavour’s chanson La Bohème. Roby Lakatos also started his own label, Lakatos Recording Company, to present somewhat different music. Except for his long-time associate, violinist Lászlo Bóni, Roby Lakatos’s ensemble today is composed of young virtuoso musicians with classical musical education who are also well versed in the folklore tradition of Hungarian Gypsies.

Seattle Symphony

Led by Music Director Thomas Dausgaard, the Seattle Symphony unleashes the power of music, brings people together and lifts the human spirit. Recognized as one of the “most vital American orchestras” (NPR), the Seattle Symphony is internationally acclaimed for its inventive programming, community-minded initiatives and superb recordings on the Seattle Symphony Media label.


Thomas Dausgaard’s performances are sponsored by the Scan|Design Foundation by Inger and Jens Bruun.

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