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Thursday matinee concerts are endowed by a gift in memory of Rhoda Goldman.
Many composers have emulated the sounds of nature, and especially birdsong, in their music. Mozart, always the rebel, turned things upside down when he taught his pet starling to sing his Piano Concerto No. 17. Despite a few artistic decisions made by the bird that Mozart didn’t agree with (an extra pause here, a slightly different note there) the composer was delighted with the bird’s talent. Led by Music Director Laureate Michael Tilson Thomas, legendary pianist Emanuel Ax performs Mozart’s concerto, which in addition to a buoyant final theme (the one sung by the bird) is characterized by moments of joy contrasted with deep pathos and introspection. The program concludes with Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony, a work he toiled over for nine years and never finished. With a nod to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony Bruckner writes his in the same dark and stormy key, D minor.