Period Performance Specialist Nicholas McGegan to Lead Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Feb. 25-27

Celebrating Classical-era improvisatory traditions, pianist Robert Levin will perform his own improvisation in the style of Beethoven

Guest conductor and period performance specialist Nicholas McGegan will join world-renowned pianist Robert Levin and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven & Mozart with a Twist, a fresh program of classical favorites, on Thursday, February 25 and Friday, February 26 at 8 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and on Saturday, February 27 at 8 p.m. at The Music Center at Strathmore. Levin will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1, followed by his own improvisation in the style of Beethoven. This musical treat was typical of Mozart and Beethoven, who would often play improvisations for their audiences after concerto performances. The program also includes two beloved works from Mozart’s repertoire: the Overture to his successful opera The Marriage of Figaro and Symphony No. 41, “Jupiter.” Mozart’s operas showcase not only his compositional mastery, but also his profound psychological understanding of how music can develop character. His comic operas, including The Marriage of Figaro, offer a wonderful blend of humor and insight into human relationships, which is reflected in the wide range of emotions that the music conveys. The Overture to this opera is an audience favorite and is often performed as a stand-alone concert piece. Beethoven played the piano solo for the premiere of his Piano Concerto No. 1 in Prague in 1798. The piece follows the traditional three-movement, fast-slow-fast format and is stylistically closer to the works of Classical era composers such as Mozart and Haydn than many of Beethoven’s later, more Romantic compositions. Pianist and historical scholar Robert Levin has performed all over the world and is particularly renowned for his period repertoire, including his own improvised cadenzas in the traditional Classical style. In the Classical period, it was common for composers to follow solo performances with improvisations. Levin harkens back to this tradition by improvising in the style of Beethoven following his performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Mozart’s Symphony No. 41, “Jupiter” is the quintessential uplifting Classical symphony. The symphony follows the traditional form, with four movements: Allegro, Andante, Menuetto (or Minuet) and Molto Allegro. Mozart’s genius in his use of counterpoint, particularly in the finale, is truly remarkable, and, combined with the speed of the movement, leaves the audience satisfied and energized.

Classical Concert: Beethoven & Mozart with a Twist
Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Friday, February 26, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.—The Music Center at Strathmore

Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Robert Levin, piano

Mozart: Overture to The Marriage of Figaro
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1
Robert Levin: Improvisation in the Style of Beethoven
Mozart: Symphony No. 41, “Jupiter”

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


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