The immortal Ludwig van Beethoven's exuberant and energetic rhythms soar under the evening sky for Pacific Symphony's next summer concert, BEETHOVEN'S GREATEST HITS. The Symphony's 25th annual Summer Festival, sponsored by Hoag, which kicked off with a record-breaking JULY 4TH SPECTACULAR concert, continues with a new, family-friendly experience tonight, Sunday, Aug. 12, at 7:30PM in the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine.
Rediscover why the iconic composer's creations have been audience favorites for centuries as Music Director Carl St.Clair leads the orchestra in the vivacious and celebratory Symphony No. 7, recently heard in the Oscar-winning film, "The King's Speech".
Then, the Symphony tackles the most famous piano concerto of all time, the regal, heroic "Emperor." Beethoven's Concerto No. 5 opens with exalted solo flourishes performed by Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Martinez, who employs a young virtuosity that is "compelling, elegant, and incisive" (The New York Times). Finally, the audience is invited to vote for the encore, a choice between Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" (first movement), his Symphony No.5 (first movement) or the "Egmont" Overture.
Individual tickets for the concert are $25 (lawn) to $99 (orchestra); kids under 14 are half price in most sections with the purchase of an adult ticket. Guests are welcome to picnic on the grounds of the amphitheater starting at 5:30 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Symphony ticket office at (714) 755-5799, or visit the website at PacificSymphony.org.
The expression of majesty and heroism in Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 inspired its famous nickname, the "Emperor," which demands virtuosity and unique interpretation in the cadenza-like passages. Rather than climbing to altitude, the concerto seems already to open at a great height with the quality of a royal fanfare. The second movement ascends even further with a sweet but melancholy mediation, and the finale concludes in a dazzling recap of the main theme, a combination that has been adored by the public since its first performance.
Pianist Martinez has already amassed an impressive list of recital, concerto and chamber music performance credits since making her orchestral debut at age 7. She has won numerous national and international prizes and awards including first prize and the audience award at the Anton G. Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Dresden. As a semifinalist at the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, she also received a Jury Discretionary Award. She's been a Career Grant recipient from the Bagby Foundation for the Musical Arts since 2002. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1984, Martinez earned her bachelor's and master of music degrees from The Juilliard School and her doctorate in Halle, Germany.