The Chamber Orchestra Announces Next Improvisational Concert ALL BEETHOVEN
A founding resident company of The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia (COP) announces the second improvisation-focused concert in their 2017/2018 Improvisionaries season featuring the music of Beethoven. Piano virtuosity shines as the Chamber Orchestra showcases the up and coming piano star Charlie Albright. Hailed for his "jaw-dropping technique and virtuosity meshed with a distinctive musicality" by The New York Times, Albright performs Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 as well as improvisations on the Für Elise. Curtis trained conductor, Sarah Ioannides - one of today's most prominent female conductors makes her Chamber Orchestra debut.
Ludwig van Beethoven played a crucial part in the transformation of music from the Classical era to
the Romantic. Beethoven was raised in a musical family, trained early on by his father and toured as a child prodigy. In 1787, Beethoven's mother fell ill and passed away causing young Beethoven, only 17, to return home to take care of his family and alcoholic father. At age 21, Beethoven moved to Vienna to study with Joseph Haydn. Beethoven continued to support his family while in Vienna, picking up extra work as a violist and playing salons. While playing for salons throughout Vienna, Beethoven like Mozart, gained a reputation as an improviser.
Charlie Albright, featured pianist for our All Beethoven concert, began figuring out melodies on the family upright piano at the age of 3, and started piano lessons with his neighbor shortly thereafter. At age 12, Albright began studying with Nancy Adsit, local musician where Albright, "learned jazz improvisation and received classical training." At an early age, Albright's father was diagnosed with a rare disorder which led to Albright's interest in medicine. Albright's enrollment at New England Conservatory (NEC) earned him multiple degrees: One in piano performance at NEC and additional degrees in Economics and Pre-Medicine from Harvard University. Albright never left the world of improvisation, and while at NEC/Harvard he refined his understanding of classical improvisation through his studies with Dr. Robert Levin, renowned Harvard musicologist and pianist known for his series of lectures entitled Improvising and Composing Mozart. "I'm excited about the unique focus on improvisation in this concert," explained Albright. "I love adding my own style and thoughts to these masterpieces, and to work with Sarah Ioannides, who is simply unbelievable."
Albright and the Chamber Orchestra will be led by Curtis Trained conductor, Sarah Ioannides. In her Chamber Orchestra debut, Ioannides is Music Director of Symphony Tacoma and the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Ioannides came to the United States as a Fulbright Scholar attending the Curtis Institute of Music. She is the first female conductor appointed to the full-time conducting staff of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
This All Beethoven program presents works from the early, middle, and late periods of the great composer's life. The program begins with Overture to Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus and Contradances, which share a theme from the fourth movement of Beethoven's Third Symphony Eroica. Albright will then improvise on the famous melody from Beethoven's Für Elise - much like Beethoven would have done in Viennese musical salons in his twenties. Albright will also perform Beethoven's famed Piano Concerto No. 3 improvising on the cadenzas - a common practice in the Classical era and a much-anticipated feature of performances by Beethoven and his contemporaries. Ioannides brings to life musicologist Barry Cooper's speculative and provocative realization of Beethoven's unfinished Symphony No. 10 based on the composer's sketches. Cooper is known for his book Beethoven Compendium and other writings such as Beethoven and the Creative Process. A professor at the University of Manchester, Cooper teaches musicology, and has assembled Beethoven's fragmented sketches for a wide variety of performances and public presentations.