Richmond Symphony Celebrates Beethoven 9/21 (Ticket Giveaway)
Some names are synonymous within the world of music, names we hear and instantly connect to greatness: John Coltrane, The Beatles, Michael Jackson. And in the world of classical music there is one name that has remained timeless and has ingratiated into our modern world so many years later, Beethoven.
The weekend of September 21st the Richmond Symphony will be performing two of Beethoven’s works in their “Beethoven Celebration.
“His music sounds just as modern today as when he first wrote it,” said Steven Smith, conductor of the Richmond Symphony.
Smith will be conducting the Richmond Symphony through two selected works from Beethoven for the Celebration, Symphony No. 3, ‘Eroica’ (which means heroic in Italian), and Piano Concerto No. 4.
“[Symphony No. 3] is a symphony that is heroic in many different ways, it’s like climbing one of the highest mountains for us to approach this symphony. And for audiences it’s extraordinarily exciting to hear because of that sense of weight and that sense of scale that draws you in at the very beginning,” said Smith.
“For Beethoven it was really the first symphony he wrote that started to sound modern – he wrote two symphonies before that, but they sounded more like Mozart, or Haydn, or someone from an earlier generation. But with the third symphony Beethoven struck out in a completely new direction. The rhythm is so active, and infectious, and even confusing the way he plays with the beats – he always ends up in the right place, but he has a lot of fun with that. The scope of the instrumentation, how he used the orchestra; big solo parts suddenly for the French horns, for the timpani – instruments that in the past would have been more subordinate in roles, are now very definitely featured.”
With the two works chosen for this event a nice contrast will be made with different emotions each evokes, Smith said. “The piano concerto number four – of the five he wrote – has some of the same sense of expansiveness that symphony number three does, but with a completely different feeling… It has a gentler feel about it. They’re like two different sides of Beethoven: one standing on a mountain side shaking at the heavens; the other, very much on earth sharing a beer with his friends at the pub.”
According to Smith there is always a new challenge for musicians when the come back to Beethoven, and a new way to bring the work to life for conductors. “For me, as a conductor, approaching Beethoven is like going back to the core of who we are. It’s like going back to the most fundamental basis of whatever it is you happen to do,” Smith said.
If classical music doesn’t top your personal chart, don’t be shy about this performance, Smith insists everyone in the audience will be drawn in by the weight of the emotion and the scale of the performance. “This is the perfect concert for someone to come and experience an orchestra if they’ve never heard one before or if it’s been a very long time since they’ve heard an orchestra,” Smith said. “Beethoven is so full of life and you can’t help but be drawn in, even if you hate classical music.”
For the Beethoven celebration, William Wolfram will join the Richmond Symphony as guest pianist. “When you listen to him you feel as though he is composing it on the spot, he is just so connected to Beethoven,” Smith said with regards to Wolfram.
The shows are Saturday, September 21st at 8pm and Sunday, September 22nd at 3pm. It is free for children under 18, $7 for college students, and $10 all others. For tickets and more information go to richmondsymphony.com.
The Richmond Symphony has also been kind enough to give GayRVA a pair of tickets to this weekends Saturday show to give away to you. Follow this link to enter for your chance to win!
I am originally from a small town in North Carolina and have recently moved to Richmond. Meaning I am a novice to the ways of Richmond life, but from what I have seen it is a culturally rich environment that I look forward to diving into. My daily hustle consists of playing bass, reading, and hunting for new music. This summer I will be interning with RVA Magazine and GayRVA.com. In the fall I will be transferring to Virginia Commonwealth University where I will major in journalism.
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