The Festival and Music Director Peter Oundjian continue a cycle of all five of Beethoven’s piano concertos, each performed by the award-winning Jan Lisiecki. The Fifth and final, best known as the “Emperor” Concerto, was written so close to the action of the Napoleonic Wars that artillery fire drove Beethoven to take cover in a basement in order to protect his hearing. This program also closes the Festival’s celebration of composer Vaughan Williams’ 150th birthday with a performance of his serene Fifth Symphony; premiering in 1943, the Fifth looks backwards at the war as well as forward, toward the welcome possibilities of peace.
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Jan Lisiecki, piano
Ralph Vaughan Williams, Symphony No. 5
Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 5, Op. 73 (“Emperor”)
- “If one thinks of the Beethoven concerti as novels,” says pianist Jan Lisiecki, “each offers a deep spiritual journey. Performed together, this definitive anthology gives new light to the power of Beethoven’s genius.” Hear a sample of Lisiecki’s recording of Beethoven’s piano concerto cycle
- 2022 marks composer Ralph Vaughan Williams’ 150th birthday. Learn more about the life and works of Vaughan Williams at BBC Radio, including this episode focusing on his Fifth Symphony