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LPO BRINGS PIANO SOLOIST, BEETHOVEN AND BLUE JEANS TO COLUMBIA
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,
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
“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, www.ticketweb.com. Box
office hours are noon to five p.m.. For additional information on Columbia
2004 events, call 985-543-4366 or visit www.selu.edu/columbia.