On Thursday, May 29, 1913, the Ballets Russes premiered Stravinsky’s ballet Le sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring) at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, an event that led to the most famous riot in classical music history due to its shocking primitive rhythms, dissonances, choreography, costumes and scenery. The Rite of Spring depicts an ancient pagan ritual sacrifice which culminates in a young girl dancing herself to death. This seminal work represented a collaboration between leading artists of the day (Sergei Diaghilev: impresario of the Ballet Russes, Nicholas Roerich: painter who created the set design and the costumes, Vaslav Nijinsky: choreographer and Igor Stravinsky: composer) which resulted in a paradigm shift in music, ballet and its related art forms in the twentieth century. Many would argue that The Rite of Spring is the single most important piece of classical music written during the twentieth century.
Below is a re-enactment of that famous event.
Michael Tilson Thomas’ Keeping Score documentary on The Rite Of Spring ballet does a great job of exploring this 20th century masterpiece. It is highly recommended viewing!
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony forever influenced the world in ways the composer could not have imagined…
“ODE TO JOY” as an anthem:
During Cold-War Era Germany, used as a substitute anthem at the Olympic Games for the Unified Team of Germany between 1956 and 1968.
Used as the “European Anthem,” adopted by both the Council of Europe and the European Union.
Used as a temporary anthem as a nod to the EU for their help when Kosovo declared independence in 2008 until their own could be adopted.
With new text, used as the national anthem of Rhodesia, the unrecognized southern African state between 1974 and 1979, as “Rise, O Voices of Rhodesia.” Rhodesia became the Republic of Zimbabwe in 1980.
Pacific Symphony, in association with Segerstrom Center for the Arts, presents the very first “Plazacast,” a live simulcast of Beethoven Ninth shown on the Center’s Arts Plaza during the June 2 concert starting at 9 p.m.;festivities begin at 8:30 p.m. Hosted by Classical KUSC’s Rich Capparela.
Celebrate Maestro St.Clair’s 60th birthday, the Center’s 25th anniversary and John Alexander’s 40th as artistic director of Pacific Chorale.
FREE and open to the public—no ticket required. Come early, bring chairs and picnic on the plaza, while enjoying a preview and live interviews with key guest artists—and a few surprises.
Beethoven’s crowning achievement, the epic and exquisite Symphony No. 9, “Choral”—featuring the soul-stirring “Ode to Joy,” which has thrilled listeners around the world for nearly two centuries—brings Pacific Symphony’s 2011-12 classical season to a memorable close. The concert, led by Music Director Carl St.Clair, features a monumental union of orchestra and voices that includes Pacific Chorale and four world-class opera singers—soprano Kelley Nassief; mezzo-soprano Susana Poretsky; tenor Chad Shelton; and bass Kevin Deas—who take on the florid and challenging solo passages in the fourth movement.
Taking place Thursday-Sunday, May 31, June 1-3, at 8 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, this concert is also part of the Symphony’s Music Unwound series and includes a display of Beethoven-inspired artwork by local artists. A preview talk by composer Ticheli begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25-$110; for more info or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799 or visit www.PacificSymphony.org.
For a complete line-up of events taking place for “Beethoven’s Ninth: Inside and Out,” read all about it HERE.
Pacific Symphony, in association with Segerstrom Center for the Arts, presents the very first “Pacific Symphony Plazacast,” a live simulcast of the Symphony’s Beethoven Ninth performance shown on the Center’s Arts Plaza during the Saturday, June 2, concert starting at 9 p.m., with festivities, including a selection of food available for purchase, beginning at 8:30 p.m. The evening is a prismatic celebration of Maestro St.Clair’s 60th birthday, the Center’s 25th anniversary and John Alexander’s 40th anniversary as artistic director of Pacific Chorale, hosted by Classical KUSC’s Rich Capparela.
This unique event is free and open to the public with no ticket required. The community is invited to come early, bring chairs and blankets, and picnic on the plaza, while enjoying a preview and live interviews by Capparela with key guest artists—and a few surprises.
It was big news for Irvine-based video-game developer Blizzard Entertainment, thegaming community and Pacific Symphony, when “Diablo III” was released last Monday at midnight—causing a big stir in Orange County and far beyond. Known for three of the world’s biggest gaming franchises (“Warcraft,” “Starcraft” and “Diablo”) played by millions of people, Blizzard selected the Symphony to perform the soundtrack for one of the most anticipated video games of the past five years.
More than 100 Symphony musicians came together last July in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, where the score was performed under the baton of Eímear Noone and recorded live by Blizzard for “Diablo III.”
please, i need some kindred spirits, here…
We not only listen to Philip Glass, we commissioned him!!
We would love to have these guys in the lobby for our Beethoven Art show during the Ninth Symphony performances.
“They are a series of abstract pieces based on the love of classical music, the likes of Beethoven, Handel and Prokofiev.”
Art inspired by classical music? Sounds familiar: http://www.pacificsymphony.org/BeethovenArt” —http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/Classical-music-inspires-painter-s-brush/story-16040683-detail/story.html
Dear Randy, Thank you so much for your wonderful article. I love the LA Times for articles like this. When I got to the part about “transcendent moment”, I had chills over my whole body remembering the first time it happened to me. Now I know what to call the experience I had when I was playing in the All Cal Symphony at UC Santa Barbara, way back in 1953. Since it was the first time, it was very powerful, and because of your article I thought and almost felt it again. Now I know what to call it when sharing with my students. I’m now 74, but still continue to teach flute and piano privately. Life with music is such a special thing. It’s too bad that there are not more avenues for adults who have studied to continue or have experiences like you have.
Sincerely, Cleora Leist” —
A note by Cleora Leist written to music writer Randy Lewis from the Los Angeles Times, who wrote about his experience playing with “Pacific Symphony for OC Can You Play With Us?” Read the article here.