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2020 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven, a composer who casts a long shadow over music—challenging, inspiring, haunting, and setting the bar for generations to come. Presented here by the renowned Beethoven virtuoso Emanuel Ax, we hear some of the earliest-known music by the composer, the Piano Concerto No. 2. Fronting a heightened sense of drama, Beethoven would become a beacon to Richard Wagner, who then pushed music’s harmonic language into a new realm—one which paved the way for Alban Berg. A signature piece for Michael Tilson Thomas, Berg’s spellbinding Three Pieces for Orchestra is a revival of recent performances issued on the Orchestra’s in-house label, the eight-time Grammy Award-winning SFS Media. Opening the program is the West Coast premiere of Fountain of Youth, an SFS Co-commission by Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer Julia Wolfe, famed for her melding of folk, rock, and classical idioms.
Open Rehearsals are working rehearsals. The pieces rehearsed are at the conductor’s discretion.
Fountain of Youth (SFS Co-commission, West Coast Premiere)
Piano Concerto No. 2
Three Pieces for Orchestra