The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Presents BEETHOVEN'S SYMPHONY NO. 7, 4/4-6
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Edo de Waart conclude the 2014 Beethoven Festival with Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 on April 4-6, 2014 at the Pabst Theater. The performances also include Stravinsky's Symphonies of Wind Instruments (1947 revision) and John Adams's Violin Concerto featuring violinist Leila Josefowicz.
Stravinsky's Symphonies of Wind Instruments was composed in 1920, two years after the death of its dedicatee, Claude Debussy, who Stravinsky later in life referred to as the "father of all my music." The Symphonies of Wind Instruments was written at the invitation of the French publication Revue Musicale for a special edition memorializing Debussy. In titling the work "Symphonies," Stravinsky's intention seems to be a return to the word's root meaning: "sounding together." The work combines musical material from Russian folk tunes to hymn-like chorales.
John Adams's Violin Concerto was composed in 1993 and premiered in 1994. Jorja Fleezanis, a violinist and close friend of Adams, proposed that he write a concerto for violin. After nearly a decade of composing massed sonorities, Adams shifted focus to melody for the concerto. About the work, Adams wrote: "The violin spins one long phrase after another without stop for nearly the full thirty-five minutes of the piece. I adopted the classic form of the concerto as a kind of Platonic model."
Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 in A major, Opus 92, was composed between 1811-1812, a time when Beethoven was fully coming to terms with his deafness. It premiered in December 1813 at a benefit concert for the veterans of the wars against Napoleon. Though many of Beethoven's works sparked controversy at their premieres, Beethoven's Seventh Symphony was a resounding success with widespread critical acclaim. While Beethoven's other symphonies were written to incite feelings of heroism, nature, and brotherhood, the Seventh Symphony is solely about the power of the music itself.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
The 2013.14 season is Edo de Waart's fifth as the sixth music director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. He is also chief conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, artistic partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and conductor laureate of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.
Guest conducting highlights include performances with the San Francisco Symphony, NHK Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Washington's National Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. As an opera conductor, Mr. de Waart has conducted at Nikikai Opera, Geneva Opera, Opera de Bastille, Santa Fe Opera, and The Metropolitan Opera. Semi-staged and concert opera performances include Der Rosenkavalier (The Metropolitan Opera), Bluebeard's Castle (Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra), and The Rake's Progress
(Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra). He regularly conducts an opera with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic as part of the Concertgebouw's Zaterdag Matinee series.
Edo de Waart's extensive catalogue encompasses releases for Philips, Virgin, EMI, Telarc, and RCA. With the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, he has recorded all the orchestral works of Rachmaninoff, the overtures of Wagner for Octavia/Exton, and a Wagner series for Challenge Classics.
Born in Holland, he studied oboe, piano, and conducting at the Music Lyceum in Amsterdam and upon graduating took up the position of associate principal oboe of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Two years later, at the age of 23, he won the Dimitri Mitropoulos Conducting Competition in New York which resulted in his appointment as assistant conductor to Leonard Bernstein at the New York Philharmonic. On his return to Holland, he was appointed assistant conductor to Bernard Haitink at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 1967, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra appointed him guest conductor and, six years later, chief conductor and artistic director. Since then, Edo de Waart has also been music director of the San Francisco Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra, chief conductor and artistic director of the Sydney Symphony, and chief conductor of De Nederlandse Opera. In December 2004, he was made a Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion, and in 2005, he was appointed an Honorary Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia.