Music Director Peter Oundjian begins a cycle of all five of Beethoven’s piano concertos, each performed by the award-winning Jan Lisiecki, whom Oundjian calls “one of the greatest piano talents of all time.” Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto was written as a showpiece for the composer as the aspiring pianist was first making a name for himself in Vienna. The high-spirited Third Piano Concerto was not complete when Beethoven first performed it—his panicked page-turner later recalled many empty pages strewn with “a few Egyptian hieroglyphs wholly unintelligible to me.” Beethoven played the solos mostly from memory. This program also begins a three-concert exploration of Vaughn Williams’ most enduring works in celebration of the composer’s 150th birthday, beginning with his profoundly moving Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis for string orchestra.
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Jan Lisiecki, piano
Ralph Vaughan Williams, Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 15
Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 3, Op. 37
- “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