Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor
Beethoven Symphony No. 5
Beethoven Symphony No. 6 ("Pastoral")
The indelible four-note opening of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony lays the foundation for a truly fateful symphonic journey. Written in 1804, and on the program when The Philadelphia Orchestra gave its first concert in 1900, it's an epic tour de force that resonates in 2020. Following its rousing conclusion come the verdant valleys and sweet smells of the woods and the Austrian countryside, an exposition of Beethoven's love of nature. Composed and premiered at the same time, the “Pastoral” offers a striking contrast to the assertive Fifth.
The year 2020 marks the 250th birthday of Beethoven. The Philadelphia Orchestra celebrates this milestone by performing music by composers of today in dialogue with Beethoven's symphonies. Composer-in- Residence Gabriela Lena Frank, and a diverse group of composers from her Creative Academy of Music, offer newly written works that inspire and push boundaries—to elevate the context in which Beethoven's legacy is understood today.