Education, Events, Music, News

Detroit Symphony Orchestra kicks off Beethoven Festival

Beethoven

Why is it Ludwig van Beethoven, who died in 1827, still tops so many lists of the most popular classical composers?

Unlike many other composers of his time he had no patron so he was a freelancer. He wrote for himself … and for us … those who would hear his work in the future. It is passionate, bold, life-affirming and leaves audiences feeling inspired and optimistic. It is a Detroit kind of music.

BeethovenBeginning February 6 and running through February 24 the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Beethoven Festival will immerse metro Detroit audiences in works that span his entire genre-altering career. The performances include all nine symphonies and pre-concert chamber music and lectures.

On February 6 there will be a keyboard conversation with renowned pianist Jeffrey Siegel and on February 7 a marathon performance of all 32 piano sonatas. The Piano Sonata Marathon will be performed by 33 young artists, representing a variety of educational institutions including Bowling Green State University, Central Michigan University, Interlochen, Michigan State University, Oakland University, Pioneer High School, University of Michigan and Wayne State University.

Before you walk into the concerts there are three things you need to know. Playing soft Beethoven is even harder to play than loud Beethoven. All Beethoven is hard to play. The DSO loves to play Beethoven.

“Perhaps the greatest mountains to be climbed by any conductor and orchestra are the nine symphonies by Ludwig van Beethoven,” said DSO Music Director Leonard Slatkin. “Each work shows the composer in a different light, ranging from Mozartian elegance to Wagnerian drama. Much the same can be said for the piano sonatas as well as his chamber music. It seemed the right time for all of us at the DSO to immerse ourselves in this remarkable world, and in turn, bring our audiences along for the journey.”

Here is the Beethoven Festival schedule.

Beethoven Festival Events

Date Time Location Event
February 6 7 p.m.  Music Box  Keyboard conversation with   Jeffrey Siegel
 February 7   8 a.m.- end (all-day event)  Music Box Piano Sonata Marathon
 February 8 10:45 a.m. Orchestra Hall Beethoven Symphonies 3&8
7 p.m. Orchestra Hall Pre-concert presentation
8 p.m. Orchestra Hall Beethoven Symphonies 3&8
 February 9 7 p.m. Orchestra Hall Pre-concert presentation
8 p.m. Orchestra Hall Beethoven Symphonies 4&5
 February 10 2 p.m. Orchestra Hall Pre-concert presentation
3 p.m. Orchestra Hall Beethoven Symphonies 4&5
 February 14 10:45 a.m. Orchestra Hall Beethoven Symphonies 1&6
6:30 p.m. Orchestra Hall Pre-concert presentation
7:30 p.m. Orchestra Hall Beethoven Symphonies 1&6
 February 15 7 p.m. Orchestra Hall Pre-concert presentation
8 p.m. Orchestra Hall Beethoven Symphonies 2&7
  February 16 7 p.m. Orchestra Hall Pre-concert presentation
8 p.m. Orchestra Hall Beethoven Symphonies 2&7
 February 21 6:30 p.m. Orchestra Hall Pre-concert presentation
7:30 p.m. Orchestra Hall Beethoven Symphony No. 9
 February 22 7 p.m. Orchestra Hall Pre-concert presentation
8 p.m. Orchestra Hall Beethoven Symphony No. 9
 February 23 7 p.m. Orchestra Hall Pre-concert presentation
8 p.m. Orchestra Hall Beethoven Symphony No. 9
 February 24 2 p.m. Orchestra Hall Pre-concert presentation
3 p.m. Orchestra Hall Beethoven Symphony No. 9

Admission to the Jeffrey Siegel lecture is $15 for general admission and free for Soundcard holders and 37/11 members. Admission to the Piano Sonata marathon is free, no ticket required. Tickets to Beethoven Symphonies concerts begin at $15 and may be purchased at the Max M. Fisher Music Center box office (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit), by calling (313) 576-5111 or online at dso.org.

About the Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *