Ludwig van Beethoven

Portrait by Thomas Hardy, 1791

Join us on Sunday from 5 to 6 pm as we present August’s concert broadcast by the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, opening with an archival recording made at the Walnut Street Theater, with the orchestra’s founder and then–music director Marc Mostovoy conducting. Current music director Dirk Brossé conducts the second half of the program, which was recorded at the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater in February, 2011.

Discovering Beethoven?

Mar 2, 2016

On Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, Saturday, March 5th, 5 to 6 pm... It's a composer we’ve barely touched on in Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, and with good reason. Beethoven isn’t a discovery to us (although, thankfully, people new to classical music discover him all the time).

The Heiligenstadt Testament, a letter and directive written by Beethoven to his brothers in October, 1802, is an important missive, opened after the composer's death in 1827.

Ludwig van Beethoven’s "Les Adieux" or "The Farewell" sonata (Piano Sonata No. 26) is considered the composer's most significant work from the period between 1809 - 1810. It was a time when the Napoleonic Wars continued to bring upheaval to Beethoven’s adopted city of Vienna, the surrounding region, and beyond.

All composers have obsessions. For John Adams, a composer who decidedly broke with the past, that obsession is Beethoven, as heard in the new album Absolute Jest.

Every great piece of music has a story behind it. Telling those stories and performing those works has become an all-consuming career and a popular concert format for pianist Jeffery Siegel.  WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on Siegel's Keyboard Conversations.


Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducts works by Haydn, Beethoven, and Vaughan Williams on this Sunday's Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert re-broadcast - a live concert recording from March, 2015 at Verizon Hall.

You'll hear one of Haydn’s most ambitious essays, the Symphony No. 92, known as the “Oxford” because he conducted a performance at the illustrious University in July 1791, when he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music.

Join us on Sunday, September 13th at 1 pm for a re-broadcast from the final week of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s January 2015 St. Petersburg Festival, celebrating the great master of the third generation, Dmitri Shostakovich. Like Tchaikovsky before him, Shostakovich visited Philadelphia just once, but his connections to the Orchestra were unmatched by any other American ensemble. Of his 15 symphonies, seven received their first U.S. performance by the Philadelphians.

If ever there was a musician whose battle cry was “freedom” it was Ludwig van Beethoven. His Leonore Overture No. 3 relates the heroic conviction of a woman to free her husband from certain doom. The Piano Concerto No. 2 was composed for his own astonishing virtuoso technique. And the Symphony No. 5 has become so much more than a symphony – its famous first four notes have been turned into a Morse code phrase for "victory." Its propulsive energy and journey escalate towards a finale that has long transcended the concert hall and given hope to oppressed people everywhere.

Born in 1987, and now in his 20s, he's been called, "...the finest pianist of his generation," by the UK Telegraph, who also commented that, ..."[he] shows that he's set to be one  of this century's big names." He's Igor Levit. And his latest CD of the last five piano sonatas of Ludwig von Beethoven has been creating quite a stir.

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