Chicago Arts Orchestra (CAO) presents an evening of music by Ludwig van Beethoven titled "The Emperor" featuring guest artist George Lepauw tonight, May 19 at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport. This concert features Beethoven's works "Creatures of Prometheus Overture", "Piano Concerto No. 4", "Consecration of the House Overture" and "Piano Concerto No. 5", also known as the "Emperor Concerto". CAO Artistic Director Javier Mendoza will conduct. "The Emperor" begins at 8 p.m. and includes a pre-concert "Prelude" discussion with Mendoza and Lepauw beginning at 7:30 p.m.
"Chicago Arts Orchestra is thrilled to be collaborating with George Lepauw - a local Chicago talent of international renown known for his interpretations of Beethoven," said artistic director and conductor Mendoza. "George's passion for bringing exceptional music to Chicago mirrors our own mission. The youthful exuberance of CAO fits with George's passionate playing like a glove."
Currently, Lepauw is the president and founder of the International Beethoven Project(IBP) and the artistic director of the IBP Beethoven Festival in Chicago. He is also a founder of theBeethoven Project Trio (BPT) with violinist Sang Mee Lee and cellist Wendy Warner. His work has been characterized by its "singing tone" ("New York Times") and its "swashbuckling" and "full-blooded" nature ("Chicago Tribune").
"I love Javier's willingness to be adventurous and bold," said Lepauw. "Rarely does a soloist perform more than one concerto in a night. I have always wanted to perform Beethoven's 4th and 5th concert in a single evening, as they are both dedicated to the same person, Beethoven's patron, friend and only composition student, the Archduke Rudolph of Austria. They are both in sunny major keys, so full of life, and yet so different and complementary. Performing them together will be revelatory to the audience and a unique experience that only a bold and confident conductor would agree to! This concert is the highlight of my season for that reason."
Originally from Paris, France, Lepauw began his musical studies with Madame Aïda Barenboim who's son is pianist and conductor, Daniel Barenboim. Lepauw comes from a musical family; his father was First Violin with the Orchestre de Paris, his grandfather was PrincipAl Viola of the Orchestre de l'Opéra de Paris and later of the Orchestre de Paris, and his sister Consuelo is a violinist based in Boston.