Nashville Symphony Spotlights Three of History’s Greatest Composers on February 1-2

Nashville Symphony Spotlights Three of History’s Greatest Composers on February 1-2

Tickets start at $20 for concerts featuring Mozart, Mendelssohn and Schumann

Nashville, Tenn. (January 22, 2019) — The Nashville Symphony’s 2018/19 Classical Series continues on February 1-2 at Schermerhorn Symphony Center, as guest conductor Markus Stenz leads the orchestra on a program featuring of three of history’s greatest composers – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Felix Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann – and an appearance by award-winning Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen.

Schumann’s triumphant Second Symphony, a rousing affirmation of the German composer’s originality and creativity, headlines the program, while Pohjonen joins the orchestra as the featured soloist on Mozart’s brilliant Piano Concerto No. 23. The concerts open with the Nashville Symphony’s first-ever performance of Mendelssohn’s Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, a work based on two poems by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Great seats are available starting at $20 (pricing valid while supplies last, additional fees apply), and the Symphony’s Soundcheck program offers $10 tickets to students in K-12, college and grad school.

About the Program

Schumann is regarded as one of the most influential composers of the Romantic era, with a catalogue that uniquely synthesizes Viennese Classicism and the counterpoint of Bach. Early in his career, Schumann was reluctant to compose anything in the symphonic genre, instead choosing to focus on music for solo piano. It was not until his marriage to celebrated pianist Clara Wieck that Schumann felt emboldened to begin penning symphonic works. 

The Second Symphony was written during a time of tremendous personal difficulty for the composer, coinciding with a series of acute nervous breakdowns, and Schumann immersed himself in the piece as a means of healing. Completed in 1846 and drawing on the influences of Bach, Beethoven and Schubert, the Second Symphony takes a widely encompassing view of the past while representing a personal epic of sorts and a temporary triumph over the composer’s mental struggles. The work’s premiere was conducted by Mendelssohn, who is also represented on this program with Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, his musical interpretation of two seafaring Goethe poems.

With the piano concerto, Mozart found a medium that allowed him to write music that appealed to the public while also pushing his own creative boundaries. With a catalogue of 27 works in the genre, he is one of the key artists responsible for driving the popularity of the solo concerto. Mozart penned the Piano Concerto No. 23 during a particularly productive stretch in Vienna in the 1780s and introduced it in the spring of 1786, just before the debut of one of his best-known works, The Marriage of Figaro.

Making his Schermerhorn debut at these concerts, soloist Pohjonen regularly performs throughout Europe, Asia and North America, and his 2018/19 season includes performances of other Mozart piano concertos with the Pacific Symphony and Bay Atlantic Symphony, as well as with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Escher Quartet. Pohjonen began piano studies in 1989 at the Junior Academy of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, and he has garnered numerous awards, including first prize at the 2004 Nordic Piano Competition and the Prokofiev Prize at the 2003 AXA Dublin International Piano Competition.

Markus Stenz – chief conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, principal guest conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and conductor-in-residence of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra – is known for his probing interpretations of German repertoire and an audacious command of contemporary music. A lauded opera conductor and prolific recording artist, Stenz has been accorded an Honorary Fellowship by the Royal Northern College of Music and the Silberne Stimmgabel (“Silver Tuning Fork”) by the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Tickets for Mozart, Mendelssohn & Schumann may be purchased:

Additional information, including program notes, performer bios, a Spotify playlist and audio of Giancarlo Guerrero discussing the program, can be found at:NashvilleSymphony.org/mozartmendelssohnschumann.

The GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony has earned an international reputation for its innovative programming and its commitment to performing, recording and commissioning works by America’s leading composers. The Nashville Symphony has released 29 recordings on Naxos, which have received 24 GRAMMY® nominations and 13 GRAMMY® Awards, making it one of the most active recording orchestras in the country. The orchestra has also released recordings on Decca, Deutsche Grammophon and New West Records, among other labels. With more than 140 performances annually, the orchestra offers a broad range of classical, pops and jazz, and children’s concerts, while its extensive education and community engagement programs reach 60,000 children and adults each year.

 

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