Philadelphia Orchestra to present Beethoven’s symphonic cycle in 2020 [in partnership with the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music]

SPAC will host 4-night celebration of composer’s 250th birthday

The Saratoga Performing Arts Center together with The Philadelphia Orchestra have announced a celebration of the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven to take place in 2020. 

The announcement was made at Saturday night’s season-ending performance of the orchestra.

In a concentrated four-night event, Aug. 12-15, 2020, The Philadelphia Orchestra and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will present all nine of Beethoven’s Symphonies in dialogue with music by composers of today. 

The Philadelphia Orchestra has commissioned works that reflect on the relevance of Beethoven’s legacy today by its composer-in-residence, Gabriela Lena Frank, and a group of composers from her Creative Academy of Music — including Jessica Hunt, Carlos Simon and Iman Habibi.   

“Traversing the complete Symphonies of Beethoven is a profound and deeply moving musical experience.  To hear them under the baton of the great Yannick Nézet-Séguin, in such a concentrated period, will be an artistic experience unlike anything we have ever presented at SPAC,” said Elizabeth Sobol, SPAC’s president and CEO.  

“Though Yannick and the Orchestra will also be performing the cycle in Philadelphia and at Carnegie Hall, only at SPAC will audiences be able to experience the symphonies in this immersive and virtually unprecedented manner.”

“We are incredibly excited to share the majesty of Beethoven’s masterpieces in four consecutive nights with our beloved fans in Saratoga,” said Nézet-Séguin.

“By pairing his groundbreaking works with new companion pieces, we look forward to creating fresh perspectives on Beethoven’s legacy today. It will surely be an exhilarating and deeply moving experience unlike anything we’ve ever presented before at SPAC.”

The Albany Pro Musica Concert Chorus will perform on the fourth night of the event.

The schedule is as follows: 

  • Aug. 12, 2020: Beethoven Symphonies 8, 4 and 7;

  • Aug. 13, Symphonies 2, 3;

  • Aug. 14, Symphonies 5, 6;

  • Aug. 15, Symphonies 1, 9.

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Gabriela Lena Frank