The Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon opens a new concert season with contrasting works by Ludwig van Beethoven — his monumental Symphony No. 5 and the first movement of his more lyrical Violin Concerto in D Major.
Beethoven's fifth symphony has often been depicted as "fate knocking at the door," says Cynthia Hutton, director of both the Youth Symphony and Youth Orchestra.
Who: Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10
Where: Craterian Theater, 23 S. Central Ave., Medford, and the Music Recital Hall on the Southern Oregon University campus, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland
Tickets: $10, $5 for students
"It's terrific, melodious music with great energy," she says. "Beethoven doesn't let anyone off the hook. The strings have very demanding parts. The woodwinds have beautiful solos, and he treats the cello and bass with the same technicality as the violins. The kids really had to step up to the plate."
Compared to the fifth symphony's dramatic, angular extremes, the sweet and pretty concerto sets quite a different mood. The piece also will feature a solo — by violinist Anna Epstein, an Ashland High School senior, associate concertmaster of the Youth Symphony and one of the winners of the 2013 Concerto Competition.
Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Craterian Theater, 23 S. Central Ave., and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, at the Music Recital Hall on the Southern Oregon University campus, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland.
The Youth Orchestra, also directed by Hutton, will precede the Youth Symphony, playing Giuseppe Verdi's Overture to Nabucco, Edward Elgar's Pomp & Circumstance March No. 4 and Jean-Baptiste Lully's The King's Musicians.
The younger Youth Strings, under the direction of Associate Conductor Faina Podolnaya, will perform works by Christoph Willibald Gluck, Henry Purcell and Johann Sebastian Bach.
Tickets cost $10, $5 for students, and are available at Paddington Station in Ashland and Larry's Music in Medford. Tickets to the Craterian performance are available by calling 541-779-3000.
— Teresa Thomas