East Coast Premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Violin Concerto with Hilary Hahn
Music Director Marin Alsop will lead the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in the East Coast Premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Violin Concerto, performed by violinist Hilary Hahn and co-commissioned by the BSO, on Thursday and Friday, June 4 and 5 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, June 7 at 3:00 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and on Saturday, June 6 at 8:00 p.m. The program also includes Dvořák’s Fifth Symphony and Beethoven’s Egmont Overture.
Lauded by the New York Times for her ability to “…make her violin sound achingly sweet, tender and lyrical, as well as forceful and grandly dramatic,” Hilary Hahn’s breadth of expression will be duly challenged in Jennifer Higdon’s expansive Violin Concerto. The composer and performer became acquainted through their involvement with Curtis Institute of Music, the former as the teacher of 20th century music and the latter, her avid pupil. Having now soared to the status of international star, Hilary Hahn’s beautiful tone throughout the violin’s range, including the extremes of its very lowest and highest notes, is cited among Ms. Higdon’s influences for this technically demanding piece.
Bursting with youthful energy and replete with Czech-flavored melodies, Dvořák composed the infrequently performed Fifth Symphony shortly after he received a stipend from the Austrian government at the recommendation of the young Dvořák’s hero, Johannes Brahms. Symphony No. 5 was composed at a frenetic pace during an extremely prolific period in the emerging composer’s life. The work’s references to the Czech countryside and inclusion of a folkdance culminate in an exuberant brass fanfare.
Ludwig van Beethoven’s Overture to Egmont tells the story of the Dutch Count Lamoral van Egmont, who in 1568 was executed by the Spanish for leading a movement to free the Netherlands from Spanish rule. Beethoven foreshadows the protagonist’s tragic fate through the ominous chords of its F-minor slow introduction, which eventually give way to a crashing coda known as the “Victory Symphony,” announcing the hero’s triumph in death.
COMPLETE PROGRAM INFORMATION
Classical Concert Series: Jennifer Higdon’s Violin Concerto
Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. —Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Friday, June 5, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. —Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. —The Music Center at Strathmore
Sunday, June 7, 2009 at 3:00 p.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Marin Alsop, conductor
Hilary Hahn, violin
Beethoven: Overture to Egmont
Dvořák: Symphony No. 5
Higdon: Violin Concerto