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- Celebrate Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday with the Philharmonic next May.
In keeping with the musical announcements heralding the approach of spring, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic recently unveiled its 2020-21 Concert Season, which is set to offer a deep schedule of riches to local music lovers. Now, if you’re worried about picking up a virus at the concert hall, two pieces of good news. First, there’s time for the coronavirus outbreak to blow over before the series begins, and second, no one ever coughs or sneezes at the orchestra. It simply isn’t allowed!
The season officially opens the weekend of Sept. 19-20, with pianist Joyce Yang performing virtuosic works by Franz Liszt and, equally impressively, Camille Saint-Saëns’ organ-led third symphony. In the ensuing months, attendees can look forward to programs featuring settings from Richard Wagner’s epic The Ring (Oct. 24-25), musical interpretations of Cervantes’ Don Quixote, courtesy of Richard Strauss and the criminally underrated Catalan composer Roberto Gerhard (Jan. 16-17, 2021), and a “Revolutionary” program highlighting Dmitri Shostakovich’s exquisite Symphony no. 11, The Year 1905 (May 1-2, 2021).
That’s already an impressive set, to be sure, but special notice should be given to three other performances in the upcoming season. The April 10-11, 2021, program, conducted by internationally acclaimed and Grammy-winning conductor JoAnn Falletta, includes performances of Aaron Copland’s masterful and popular Appalachian Spring and American composer John Corigliano’s Phantasmagoria suite from the opera The Ghosts of Versailles.
Next, a “Legendary Gala,” to be held on March 27, 2021, celebrates the 10th anniversary of conductor Josep Caballé-Domenech at the helm of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, featuring an appearance by renowned cellist Jan Vogler, performances of works by Wang Jie, Shostakovich and George Gershwin, and the world premiere of a new composition by Enric Palomar in honor of the occasion. It’s an expected sellout concert, but you have a year’s worth of advance notice.
Finally, in a mammoth undertaking, the Philharmonic will perform all of Beethoven’s symphonies in sequence from May 18 to 22, 2021, in celebration of the composer’s 250th birthday. Good old Ludwig van certainly isn’t a stranger to the average American orchestral repertoire, but the chance to see all nine symphonies in sequence for the occasion — with champagne provided, no less — has the potential to be a transcendent experience. While Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 is obviously one of the most-performed works in the Western canon, its reputation is well deserved, shifting musical paradigms for generations of subsequent composers. (Just consider Giuseppe Verdi, who referred to it as no less than “the alpha and omega.”)
See next week’s Reverb for updates on coronavirus restrictions and the Springs’ live music community.