Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra Performs Beethoven's SECOND SYMPHONY Tonight

East Providence, RI -- With Music Director LARRY RACHLEFF at the podium, the RHODE ISLAND PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA will greet the new year with stunning nineteenth- and twentieth-century music, featuring BEETHOVEN'S triumphant SECOND SYMPHONY. Capping the Philharmonic's stellar cycle of Beethoven symphonies, the concert takes place tongiht, January 18 at 8:00pm at The Vets in Providence.

Pianist JEAN-PHILIPPE COLLARD will make his Philharmonic debut with RAVEL'S PIANO CONCERTO FOR THE LEFT HAND and the orchestra will perform HINDEMITH'S MATHIS DER MALER. The concert is sponsored by The Carter Family Charitable Trust. WPRO News Talk 630 is the media sponsor.

Tickets (starting at $15) are available at riphil.org/tickets, by phone at 401.248.7000, and in-person at the RIPO box office, 667 Waterman Ave., E. Providence.

An Open Rehearsal will take place Friday January 17 at 5:30pm at The Vets.

"We close our Beethoven symphony cycle with his Second," said Larry Rachleff, music director. "It might not be one with which you're familiar, but it's vintage Beethoven and shows why he is the ultimate symphonist. It's a triumphant, dramatic work, in some ways preparing the ear for the colossal Ninth symphony, with some of the same motives." Rachleff continued: "Also on the program is Hindemith's Mathis der Maler Symphony, extracted from his opera inspired by the paintings of Matthias Grunewald. It's an important statement from Hindemith, an outspoken critic of the Nazi regime. He became a professor at Yale after emigrating to the United States during the Second World War. This piece is classic Hindemith, with glorious hymn-like brass, aggressive percussion,scherzi fugato in the strings... a combination of American jazz and the deep soul of his native Germany in the 1920s and '30s." Rachleff concluded: "Between these two pieces is the Left Hand Piano Concerto of Maurice Ravel, and we've invited Jean-Philippe Collard for his first visit with us. His recording of this piece has won many awards. Britten, Prokofiev, Ravel and others composed pieces for Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein after he lost his arm in the First World War. Ravel's concerto brings out such dark qualities, with a huge orchestra and big band jazz sounds. I've been blessed to bring you the piece twice before, with the late great John Browning and Leon Fleischer, and now with the Frenchman Jean-Philippe Collard. What a great program this is!"

Pianist Jean-Philippe Collard was admitted to the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris at a very young age, and at 16 he was awarded the Conservatory's First Prize. Mr. Collard has appeared as soloist with the world's greatest orchestras, including the Cleveland, Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras, the Orchestre de Paris, London's Philharmonia Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the New York, BBC, Royal, Los Angeles and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras and the San Francisco, London, Vienna, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Atlanta, Indianapolis and Boston Symphony Orchestras. He has performed at the London Proms and the Edinburgh, Aldeburgh, Salzburg, Caramoor, Newport and Saratoga Festivals, in addition to recitals throughout Europe, North and South America, Russia and the Far East. He is a prolific recording artist with more than 30 titles to his credit.

The Philharmonic's season features eight Classical concerts on Saturday nights at The Vets. Four are preceded by Amica Rush Hour concerts on Friday, and four have Friday Open Rehearsals. The Amica Rush Hour Series offers an early start time - 6:30pm - on remaining Fridays March 21 and April 11. These shorter, informal, accessible concerts feature full performances of select repertoire from the Saturday Classical concerts. Open Rehearsals, on Fridays at 5:30pm (January 17, February 21, May 9), offer insight into the collaboration between the conductor, guest artists and orchestra musicians as they prepare for the upcoming classical concert. Subscriptions are on sale now. Please call the Philharmonic box office at 401.248.7000, or visit www.riphil.org/tickets.

Jean-Philippe Collard, piano

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AT A GLANCE: Beethoven's Second

Larry Rachleff, conductor

Jean-Philippe Collard, piano

HINDEMITH Mathis der Maler

RAVEL Concerto, Piano (Left Hand), D major

BEETHOVEN Symphony No.2, op.36, D major

Saturday January 18 at 8:00pm Open Rehearsal: Friday January 17 at 5:30pm

TICKETS: starting at $15, with discounts for students and groups in select sections

online: www.riphil.org/tickets, 24/7

by phone: Philharmonic box office: 401.248.7000; Monday-Friday 9?4:30

in person: Philharmonic box office, Carter Center, 667 Waterman Street, East Providence,Monday-Friday 9?4:30 OR

Vets box office, Avenue of the Arts, Providence, concert Friday 2?5:30pm; concert Saturday 3:30?8pm

ABOUT THE PROGRAM: stories behind the music

Hindemith, Mathis der Maler

No avoiding the Nazis: In April 1933, just three months after the Nazis came to power, Hindemith wrote to a friend: "To judge by what is happening here, I don't think we need worry too much about the musical future. One must just be patient for the next few weeks. So far in all the changes, nothing has happened to me." Soon the Nazis "invited" him into the music division of their chamber of culture. When he did not respond, they called for a boycott of his music, and "furloughed" him from teaching.

The politics of opera: Hindemith's opera Mathis der Maler (Mathias the Painter) used the painter's resistance of the Reformation to make a statement against oppression and senseless brutality. The opera premiered in 1934 (despite the boycott) and was an immediate success in other countries, becoming a symbol of the deepening world crisis. Goebbels later denounced the composer, but it did not deter Hindemith, who soon left Germany for Switzerland and then the United States.




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