Laura Farmer, 410.783.8024
Alyssa Porambo, 410.783.8044
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra presents
Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, Nov. 8 & 11
The East Coast Premiere of Christopher Rouse's Symphony No. 3 also on the program
Baltimore, Md. (October 25, 2012) - Music Director Marin Alsop will lead the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven's powerful Symphony No. 5, November 8 at 8 p.m. and November 11 at 3 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Also on the program is the East Coast premiere of another groundbreaking symphony, the third by American master Christopher Rouse, whose music is celebrated throughout the 2012-2013 season. A post-concert Q&A with Maestra Alsop and Christopher Rouse about his symphony will follow the November 8 concert. Please see below for complete concert details.
The concert will open with the overture from Beethoven's ballet The Creatures of Prometheus, a work he composed in 1801 to accompany a libretto by Viennese ballet master and choreographer Salvatore Viganò. The ballet overture has now become part of the standard concert repertoire. In fact, the fourth movement of Beethoven's great Eroica Symphony was based on the last movement of The Creatures of Prometheus ballet.
Also on the program is Christopher Rouse's Symphony No. 3, a BSO Co-commission with the St. Louis Symphony, Singapore Symphony and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic. Rouse writes of the piece: "My idea has been to take some central aspect of an already composed work and consider it anew. My third symphony is an attempt to do just this. The unusual form of Prokofiev's Symphony No. 2 furnished the old bottle into which I have tried to pour new wine…Cast in two movements-an opening toccata-like allegro followed by a set of variations-Prokofiev's own architecture was in turn influenced by that of Beethoven in his final piano sonata. I thus took this structure as my own and tried to maintain Prokofiev's own proportions between the two movements." This new work was completed in Baltimore on February 3, 2011 and is dedicated to Rouse's high school music teacher, John Merrill.
The opening four notes of Beethoven's iconic Symphony No. 5 are arguably the most recognized four notes in the classical genre. This opening gesture has been frequently featured in popular culture, from disco to rock and roll, to appearances in film and television. Beethoven completed his Symphony No. 5 in 1808 at a point in his life when he was greatly troubled by his increasing deafness. The piece was premiered on December 22, 1808 at a mammoth concert at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna, consisting entirely of Beethoven premieres and directed by Beethoven himself.
Marin Alsop, conductor
Hailed as one of the world's leading conductors for her artistic vision and commitment to accessibility in classical music, Marin Alsop made history with her appointment as the 12th music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. With her inaugural concerts in September 2007, she became the first woman to head a major American orchestra. She also holds the title of conductor emeritus at the Bournemouth Symphony in the United Kingdom, where she served as the principal conductor from 2002-2008, and is music director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California.
In 2005, Ms. Alsop was named a MacArthur Fellow, the first conductor ever to receive this prestigious award. In 2007, she was honored with a European Women of Achievement Award, in 2008 she was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2009 Musical America named her "Conductor of the Year." In November 2010, she was inducted into the Classical Music Hall of Fame. In February 2011, Marin Alsop was named the music director of the Orquestra Sinfônica do estado de São Paulo (OSESP), or the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, effective for the 2012-13 season. Ms. Alsop was named to Guardian's Top 100 Women list in March 2011. In the spring of 2011, Marin Alsop was named an Artist-in-Residence at the Southbank Centre in London, England.
A regular guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic, Ms. Alsop appears frequently as a guest conductor with the most distinguished orchestras around the world. In addition to her performance activities, she is also an active recording artist with award-winning cycles of Brahms, Barber and Dvo?ák.
Marin Alsop has led Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in several key outreach initiatives. In 2008, she partnered with the BSO to launch OrchKids™, a music education and life enrichment program for youth in West Baltimore. In 2010, she conducted the first "Rusty Musicians with the BSO" - an event that gave amateur musicians the chance to perform onstage with a professional symphony orchestra and quickly became a popular component of the BSO's efforts to connect with the community. In June 2010, Maestra Alsop conducted the inaugural BSO Academy - an immersive summer music program that gives approximately 100 amateur adult musicians the opportunity to perform alongside a top professional orchestra.
Marin Alsop attended Yale University and received her master's degree from The Juilliard School. In 1989, her conducting career was launched when she won the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize at Tanglewood where she studied with Leonard Bernstein.
Christopher Rouse, composer
Christopher Rouse is one of America's most prominent composers of orchestral music. His works have won a Pulitzer Prize (for his Trombone Concerto) and a Grammy Award (for Concert de Gaudí), as well as election to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters. Rouse has created a body of work perhaps unequalled in its emotional intensity. The New York Times has called it "some of the most anguished, most memorable music around." The Baltimore Sun has written: "When the music history of the late 20th century is written, I suspect the explosive and passionate music of Rouse will loom large."
He graduated from Oberlin Conservatory and Cornell University, numbering among his principal teachers George Crumb and Karel Husa. Rouse maintained a steady interest in popular music: at the Eastman School of Music, where he was Professor of Composition until 2002, he taught a course in the history of rock for many years. Rouse is currently a member of the composition faculty at The Juilliard School.
Rouse recently completed a dance work entitled Friandises, jointly commissioned by the New York City Ballet and the Juilliard School, and which was premiered in February 2006. Also recently completed was Wolf Rounds, a wind ensemble piece commissioned by the Frost Wind Ensemble of the University of Miami, which premiered in March of 2007 at Carnegie Hall, and Concerto for Orchestra, which premieres in August of 2008 at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. Rouse is currently working on a commission from the New York Philharmonic.
COMPLETE PROGRAM DETAILS
BSO Classical Concert: Beethoven's Fifth
Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 8 p.m. - Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Sunday, November 11, 2012 at 3 p.m. - JMSH
Marin Alsop, conductor
Beethoven - Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus
Christopher Rouse - Symphony No. 3 (BSO Co-commission and East Coast premiere)
Beethoven - Symphony No. 5
Tickets range from $28 to $63 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.