. Interchanging Idioms: Acclaimed Pianist Garrick Ohlsson Joins the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Acclaimed Pianist Garrick Ohlsson Joins the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto

BBC Symphony Orchestra’s Chief Conductor Jiří Bĕlohlávek to lead program

Baltimore, Md. (November 24, 2009) – BBC Symphony Orchestra’s Chief Conductor Jiří Bĕlohlávek will lead pianist Garrick Ohlsson and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto on Friday, January 22 and Saturday, January 23 at 8 p.m. and on Sunday, January 24 at 3 p.m. The performances on Friday and Sunday will be held at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, and Saturday’s performance will be at The Music Center at Strathmore. Winner of the Avery Fisher Prize in 1994 and hailed by the New York Times as a “powerful” and “eloquent” pianist, guest artist Garrick Ohlsson will give a fresh take on Beethoven’s famous concerto. In keeping with this season’s theme of exploring cultural roots, Czech maestro Jiří Bĕlohlávek will conduct the music of two Czech composers: Dvořák’s Othello Overture and Janáček’s Taras Bulba. Also on the program is Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture.

Beethoven’s composed his Third Piano Concerto in 1800 and dedicated it to Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia. The first performance of the piece was in 1803 and featured Beethoven himself as soloist. During this time, Beethoven would often dedicate his pieces to political and heroic figures. In fact, as Beethoven was finishing this concerto he also began composing his Third Symphony “Eroica” (Heroic), which was originally dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte.

The Coriolan Overture was inspired by the play of the same name, written by Austrian dramatist Heinrich Joseph von Collins. Beethoven wrote this overture in 1807, three years after the play was written. The play centers around the legend of Roman general Coriolanus. Beethoven premiered this Overture along with premieres of his Fourth Symphony and Fourth Piano Concerto in March of 1807.

Czech composer Antonin Dvořák is probably most famous for his Ninth Symphony, “From the New World,” and his American quartet, both of which were written during the period when he was working in the United States as artistic director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York. However, included in his vast range of orchestral works is Othello, an overture written in 1892 as the “love” portion of a trilogy of overtures entitled “Nature, Life and Love.”

Twentieth-century Czech composer Leoš Janáček earned an international reputation working in traditional Western art music idioms, while maintaining a unique national style by researching folk music from Moravia and incorporating elements of this folk music into his compositions. Taras Bulba (composed in 1918) is an orchestral rhapsody and programmatic work based on the novel by Gogol.

COMPLETE CONCERT DETAILS

Classical Concert: Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto
Friday, January 22, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Saturday, January 23, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.—The Music Center at Strathmore
Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 3:00 p.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

Jiří Bĕlohlávek, conductor
Garrick Ohlsson, piano

Beethoven: Coriolan Overture
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3
Dvořák: Othello Overture
Janáček: Taras Bulba

Tickets for these performances range from $25 to $80 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.

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