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Before he became a world-famous conductor, Herbert von Karajan had originally wanted to be a pianist. It was at the age of 20 that he gave up the piano, a choice that would play a determining role in his musical career: by the time he was 21 years old, he had already begun conducting operas! It is easy to imagine that his attachment to the piano gave Karajan a particular affinity for the music of the great late 19th century conductor and concert-pianist Johannes Brahms. Karajan gave Brahms’s First Symphony—composed over the course of 20 years and premiered in 1876 in Karlsruhe— a masterful interpretation in this concert featuring the brilliant Berliner Philharmoniker.