What Would Beethoven Do? is a documentary film that explores the state of classical music in the 21st century. With major symphony orchestras across the United States struggling financially and seemingly diminished interest in classical music culturally, the genre and its adherents are starting to realize that they must innovate or be left to the history books. This documentary follows several programs and music innovators who are bringing classical music from the stuffy concert hall to the popular masses and are demonstrating the power of this art form to change lives.
Pacific Symphony’s Director of Community Arts Participation Molly Pontin and Director of Audience Engagement Kurt Mortensen were both interviewed and featured in the teaser video for the kickstarter campaign that launched today to support the funding the project.
Tomorrow, before dawn, I’ll be leaving Gui Yang and China headed homeward. During the past two weeks my life has been enriched and my hopes for a future filled with human harmony and kindness have been bolstered. I realized that music provides the surest, most immediate and truest path toward oneness and common purpose. And, that the great composers—Mahler, Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and others—with their masterworks, having originated in the heavens, have delivered us keys to places of the heart not otherwise reached.
So, I say 再见—Zai Jian, China—with great thankfulness for this wonderful experience, and with deepest gratitude to all the musicians of the Beijing Symphony and Gui Yang Symphony who have been so accepting and open to me and my musical ideas, feelings and interpretations.
You have extended me generous kindness, have renewed my hopes, and have given me a most rewarding musical experience. Xie Xie! Thank you!
—Pacific Symphony Music Director Carl St. Clair on tour in China
“Lang Lang is in unbelievable demand as soloist,” says Pacific Symphony Music Director Carl St.Clair. “There isn’t an orchestra in the world who wouldn’t want to have him on their series this season or any season. We are indeed honored that he has chosen to return to Orange County and Pacific Symphony to perform two major concertos. It will be an honor for me to have the chance to work with him again. We are truly blessed!
“Lang Lang embodies music,” continues St.Clair. “He understands the power of music and how it can elevate our lives. Through his electrifying, probing performances we are all transformed and enriched. Both Franz Liszt and Beethoven were piano virtuosos of their day. What better way to experience these concertos than by our modern day virtuoso, Lang Lang?”
Classical music superstar Lang Lang returns to Pacific Symphony for a one-night-only special event, led by Music Director Carl St.Clair, on Thursday, Sept. 27, at 8 p.m. in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Recently honored with carrying the Olympic Torch for the 2012 Summer Games and performing for Queen Elizabeth II at the Diamond Jubilee, the 30-year-old Chinese piano virtuoso has been for some time garnering attention the world over, playing sold-old recitals and concerts in every major city. Heralded as the “hottest artist on the classical music planet,” by The New York Times, Lang Lang joins the Symphony for not one, but two of the most demanding piano concertos in the repertoire: Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, the “Emperor.”
McKayla Maroney is not impressed with Beethoven, the deaf composer.
In 1811, after a failed attempt to premiere his “Emperor” Concerto due to his advanced hearing loss, Beethoven never performed publicly again. This Sunday, August 12th, Pacific Symphony will be performing the Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor” with soloist Gabriela Martinez at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, CA. Visit pacificsymphony.org for more information.