With a name like Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, it's not surprising the ensemble coming to Penn State Tuesday specializes in the music of one particular timeless composer.
Led by music director and conductor Stefan Blunier and featuring guest pianist Louis Lortie, the German orchestra brings an all-Beethoven program, including the Symphony No. 5 in C minor, to Eisenhower Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. March 12.
Lortie, a French Canadian who studied with Beethoven specialist Dieter Weber and American virtuoso Leon Fleisher, is celebrated for his interpretations of Beethoven compositions. He joins the orchestra to perform the Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major. Perhaps you know it as the Emperor Concerto.
Even if you're not a fan of classical music, it's hard to imagine not getting swept up in the majesty of Beethoven's incomparable 5th Symphony. Having an opportunity to hear a German orchestra perform it live figures to be one of the highlights of the Center for the Performing Arts season.
Tickets are still available for the concert.
Founded more than a century ago, the orchestra has become a pillar of cultural life in Bonn—the Rhine River city that served as the capital of the former West Germany—and the surrounding region. In addition to symphony concerts, recordings and domestic and international tours, the ensemble performs as the orchestra of the Bonn Opera House.
Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring the orchestra's principal horn player Geoffrey Winter, an American, is offered in Eisenhower one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders. Seating for Artistic Viewpoints is limited.
As an added treat, the public is invited to observe a two-hour master class featuring Lortie at 3 p.m. Tuesday in Penn State's Music Building I Esber Recital Hall. Christopher Guzman, classical pianist and assistant professor of music at Penn State, leads the session.
The visit by Lortie and the orchestra is part of the Center for the Performing Arts Classical Music Project. With support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the project provides opportunities to engage students, faculty and the community with classical music artists and programs.