By Barry Jagoda
During the month of January, San Diego joins in the worldwide observance of the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven, who was born in Bonn, Germany, in 1770 and forever changed western music.
This weekend, San Diego Symphony patrons have been treated to a special presentation of Beethoven’s most famous music, with the initial four notes—the fate theme–signaling the opening of the 5th Symphony. What has been most unusual about the symphony’s January Beethoven Festival are back-to-back weekend performances of Symphony No. 5, even including a multimedia biographical show, featuring influential writers and period characters, followed by the symphony’s own complete rendition of Symphony No. 5.
Limited tickets are still available for the 2 p.m. performance on Sunday, Jan. 19, either at the box office or by calling 619-235-0804. This performance includes the multimedia show and the full Symphony No. 5.
Next weekend, on Friday, Jan. 24, and Saturday, Jan. 25, the symphony is giving audiences the chance to hear Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, which is the composer’s expression of the power and beauty of the natural world, fittingly named “Pastoral.”
This San Diego Beethoven Festival is under the baton of the symphony’s principal guest conductor, maestro Edo de Waart.
Beethoven was a student of the great Joseph Haydn, and de Waart has said that without Haydn there would be no Beethoven. Thus it is more than fitting that, as part of the coming concert program, the orchestra will also present Haydn’s magnificent Symphony No. 92, preceded also by the Overture to Egmont, a particularly thrilling piece by Beethoven. These compositions with their power and expressive potential illustrate the progression in music from a great teacher to even more profound pupil.
This iconic music is a fitting tribute to a classical composer who has dazzled audiences for centuries.
Barry Jagoda was an award-winning journalist at NBC News and CBS News, who later served in the White House as an assistant for President Jimmy Carter.
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