Symphony Tacoma’s March performance presents works that celebrate piano and chorus by composers David Ludwig and Ludwig van Beethoven. Pianist Pallavi Mahidhara and Symphony Tacoma Voices will join the orchestra for the performance on Saturday, March 26, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. in the Pantages Theater.
Leading off the program is Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. Hailed as “the most admirable, singular, artistic and complex Beethoven concerto ever,” this piece is noted for its unprecedented construct of opening with solo piano, played by Beethoven himself at its premiere. Mahidhara will bring this laudable work to life, now considered a staple of piano concerto literature.
Symphony Tacoma is honored to present the world premiere of The Bleeding Pines by David Ludwig, Symphony Tacoma’s first Composer in Residence from 2019 to 2021. Drawing on themes from “Choral Fantasy,” the work features Symphony Tacoma Voices and is based on a play by poet Ray Owen. The poem tells the story of North Carolina’s endangered Round Top Long Leaf Pine forest and one woman’s efforts to save that ancient tract of land from oblivion.
“Ray Owen and I have collaborated on multiple song cycles using his poetry, but this new oratorio is an opportunity to paint his story on the great canvas of the orchestra and chorus,” says Ludwig. “That the premiere of this new work is taking place in Tacoma in the Pacific Northwest is meaningful, given how important the environment and the green life of trees is to people who live here. Though this story takes place in North Carolina’s Southern Pines, it is an example for all who care deeply for the environment and a testament to the power of one person to change the world for the better.”
Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy” is the featured work in the program. Considered a forerunner to his epic Ninth Symphony and the famed Ode to Joy melody, it is notable for its piano and vocal solos as well as chorus. It begins with a lengthy solo piano passage, performed by Mahidhara, with the orchestra joining in to create a concerto-like effect. The chorus enters for the grand finale, which was Beethoven’s intention to conclude the work with a thrilling and accessible ending. Its message is a fitting choice for a composer who once said that “only art and science can raise men to the level of gods.”
Symphony Tacoma’s 2021-2022 season is generously sponsored by MultiCare and Tacoma Creates. The Classics IV concert is sponsored by Tacoma Art Museum, Applebaum Violin Shop, Indochine and The Grand Cinema.