Houston Symphony Announces the Beethoven Experience
January 16, 2008 6:01:00 am
The Houston Symphony announced today that they will host the Beethoven Experience, an extraordinary day-long musical event, on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at Jones Hall. “We’ve created an unprecedented opportunity for Beethoven fans and first-timers to learn, explore and enjoy the breadth of Beethoven’s musical genius,” said Matthew VanBesien, Executive Director/CEO of the Houston Symphony. “We have planned a full day and brought together a remarkable group of people to make this experience as interesting, enjoyable, imaginative and educational as possible.” Participants include Houston Symphony Music Director Hans Graf; 25 year-old award-winning pianist Orion Weiss; Dr. Richard Stasney, otolaryngologist and chairman of The Center for Performing Arts Medicine at Methodist Hospital; Resident Conductor of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Rebecca Miller; along with a display of artifacts from The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, the only institution in North America devoted solely to the life, works and accomplishments of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827).
Highlights of the Beethoven Experience include: Beethoven’s Missing Notes - For families with children ages four to 11, this educational program will be conducted by former Houston Symphony Conducting Fellow Rebecca Miller. Children will hear parts of F?r Elise and the 5th and 9th Symphonies, and help poor Ludwig find some of the notes he lost for his music. During Inside The Fifth, Houston Symphony Music Director Hans Graf will explore the highly familiar first movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. The audience will have the opportunity to delve inside the greatest of symphonic opening movements through Graf’s commentary, and then enjoy its magnificence in performance.
Dr. Richard Stasney, an internationally-known voice specialist, and Chairman of the Methodist Center for Performing Arts Medicine, along with Music Director Hans Graf will discuss the causes and effects of Beethoven’s hearing loss, illustrated with live musical selections, during Beethoven’s Triumph Over Deafness. The Heroism of Beethoven’s Egmont will be comprised of a dramatic concert version of the complete Egmont music with soprano and actor. Then the Choral Fantasy, famously similar to the last movement of the 9th Symphony, will include a performance by pianist Orion Weiss and the Houston Symphony Chorus.
Other planned performances include a pair of piano recitals by award-winning pianist Orion Weiss; and a string quartet recital of one of the Rasumovsky quartets. Throughout the day refreshments will be served at Caf? Beethoven, chamber music performed by Houston Symphony musicians will be heard throughout the lobby and a Beethoven exhibit will be on display. This special collection of Beethoven artifacts is on loan from The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies based at California’s San Jose State University. The Center has the largest collection of Beethoven materials outside of Europe. To cap off the day-long festivities, Immortal Beloved, a film which depicts the untold love story of Beethoven’s life, will be shown on a large full-sized movie screen inside Jones Hall.
For tickets and more information call (713) 224-7575 or go to HoustonSymphony.org. The Beethoven Experience is being presented by the Houston Symphony. Festival sponsors are TOTAL, The National Endowment for the Arts and The Humphreys Foundation. Media sponsors are KUHF-FM 88.7 and The Houston Chronicle.