News release
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Contact: Christina Chapple
Date: 4/28/04
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      HAMMOND -- It's casual night at Southeastern Louisiana University's Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts and blue jeans are the musical dress code. The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra will bring the orchestra's popular "Beethoven & Blue Jeans" series to the historic theater in downtown Hammond for a May 7 performance of Beethoven's "Pastoral" Symphony.
      The LPO will be joined for the second of three 2004 concerts at the Columbia by guest soloist Stewart Goodyear, an accomplished young pianist praised for his unique and flawless technique. Goodyear will perform Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 as LPO Music Director Klauspeter Seibel leads the orchestra.
      Curtain is 7 p.m. and tickets  are $30, Orchestra 1 and Loge; $25, Orchestra 2 and Balcony 1; and $20, Balcony 2.
      Known for his imagination, graceful style and exquisite technique, 24-year-old Goodyear, a native of Toronto, Canada, earned his master’s degree from the Juilliard School of Music where he studied with Oxana Yablonskaya. He also studied at the Curtis Institute of Music with Leon Fleisher, Gary Graffman and Claude Frank.  
      In addition to his talents as a pianist, Goodyear is a composer and frequently performs his own works, including his solo piano work, “Variations on Eleanor Rigby,” which premiered at Lincoln Center in New York in August 2000, and his “Piano Sonata.” Both receive continual acclaim by critics and audiences. His compositions have been commissioned by the Toronto Youth Symphony for its 25th anniversary, as well as for the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. 
      Goodyear has been noted for his innovation and is one of the rare classical musicians to always improvise his cadenzas when performing concertos from the classical period. He has been repeatedly praised for both the inspiring individuality and appreciation of the composer’s own style that he clearly conveys in every performance.  
      Although Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 is laid out in the traditional format, it differs somewhat from previous concertos, particularly in its emotional depth, drama and intricacy of interaction between soloist and orchestra, who are more often heard individually than together. Aside from the central episode, where the piano accompanies the dialogue between solo flute and bassoon, piano and orchestra join in fewer than 20 bars. The concerto’s finale is full of invigorating, rhythmic energy. 
      “Beethoven and Blue Jeans” will open with Webern’s “Passacaglia” and close with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral,” which the composer described as an expression of feeling. The symphony’s relaxing opening mimics the sunny days of gentle breezes that Beethoven often enjoyed in the woods outside Vienna. The remaining three movements exhibit merry-making and dancing followed by a storm that stops the festivities. Once the rain passes, a shepherd’s pipe is heard in a song of thanksgiving for the renewed freshness and beauty of nature, and, in conclusion, the full orchestra joins in the joyous hymn.
      Performances of “Pastoral Symphony” will also take place on Thursday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 8 at 8 p.m. at the Orpheum Theater.
      Tickets are available at the Columbia box office, 985-543-4371, located in the theater’s lobby, 220 E. Thomas Street, and online through TicketWeb, Box office hours are noon to five p.m.. For additional information on Columbia 2004 events, call 985-543-4366 or visit