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For two nights at Zoellner, it’s All Beethoven!

Roll over, Beethoven, and tell Tchaikovsky the news: The Lehigh University Philharmonic Orchestra, as part of its 10th anniversary celebration, will present a concert entitled All Beethoven! in Zoellner Arts Center’s Baker Hall at 8 p.m. Dec. 5 and 6.

The program, under the direction of conductor Paul Hsun-Ling Chou, features Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, with guest pianist Sandra Rivers, Symphony No. 5 in C Minor and the Egmont Overture.

There will be a free, pre-show lecture at 7:15 pm each night in Zoellner room 145 with violist Matt Kupferman, a member of the orchestra and a music and engineering major at Lehigh. The lecture is open to the public.

Rivers, the Weinstock Artist-in-Residence, has performed in concert throughout the world, including Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Portugal, Russia, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Hong Kong, the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and extensively across the United States.

She has appeared at the Mostly Mozart Festival, Tanglewood, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Aspen, the Kennedy Center and on the Great Performers Series at Lincoln Center. Rivers has worked with such noted conductors as Arthur Fiedler, Anshel Brusilow, Jean Morel, Isaiah Jackson, Michael Morgan and Keith Lockhart.

In addition to her solo career, for the past 10 years Rivers has become widely known for her concert partnerships with many of the world's leading soloists, including Itzhak Perlman, Kathleen Battle, Kyung-Wha Chung, Anne Akiko Myers, Elmar Oliveira, Cho-Liang Lin, Joshua Bell, and Sarah Chang, among others. She performs regularly with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg.

Her collaborations with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Sarah Chang have twice taken her onto the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and Jay Leno. Rivers is a Steinway Artist and has recorded for RCA, EMI, CBS, and Teldec.

Conductor and violinist Chou began playing the violin at age three as one of the earliest students of the renowned Suzuki Method. In 1970, he continued to study under the guidance of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Krasner and then-Russian violinist Rafail Sobolevsky at Syracuse University.

He was the featured soloist with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra at age 15 and has since continued to build an international performing career. He has appeared as a soloist with the International Chamber Orchestra, Chicago Grant Park Symphony, Allentown Symphony, Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra and the San Angelo Symphony.

He also has performed extensively abroad, having appeared in Canada, the People's Republic of China, the Czech Republic, and the United Kingdom with composer/pianist Paul Salerni and soprano Carmen Pelton. He also has recorded for BMG/Catalyst.

Chou is currently the Ronald J. Ulrich Chair of Orchestra Studies and an associate professor in the music department. He is the founder and director of the Lehigh University Orchestra Program and the Lehigh University Chamber Music Collegium.

Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, written from 1799-1803, was dedicated to Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia and premiered in 1803 at Vienna’s Theater an der Wien with the composer as soloist. Many consider No. 3 to be the first of his five canonical piano concertos to really sound like fully mature Beethoven. The piece also reflects an important advance in technology, as during the final decades of the 18th century manufacturers were beginning to stretch the fortepiano’s range by incorporating extra keys beyond the instrument’s then standard five-octave range. Beethoven made full use of these technological advances in his C Minor Concerto, calling for his soloist to play all the way up to high G.

Symphony No. 5 in C Minor offers a glimpse of a tumultuous time in Beethoven’s life. Working on this piece from 1802-1808, Beethoven’s loss of hearing was getting progressively worse, he almost lost a finger to infection, and Vienna was in a state of political unrest under Napolean’s occupation. The Fifth Symphony contains the most famous four notes in history: three eighth notes on the pitch of G followed by the half-note E-flat extended by a fermata.

The Egmont Overture, written from 1809-1810, was premiered at Vienna’s Hoftheater with the composer conducting. Beethoven was commissioned by the theater to write the piece for Goethe’s 1786 tragedy, Egmont. Based on a 16th century historical incident, Count Egmont, a Flemish nobleman, defies the occupying Spanish forces and fights for his people’s freedom.

Tickets for the Beethoven show are $17. Senior, student, LVAIC and group discounts are available. For information or tickets, call Zoellner Ticket Services at (610) 758-2787 (7LU-ARTS).

Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2003

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