Whether you consider yourself a classical music buff or not, it’s a safe bet you know the name Beethoven. But why is he so well known?
“Beethoven probably did more to advance music composition than anyone else in history,” says Alan Futterman, Music Director for the Bremerton WestSound Symphony.
On Sunday, April 24 the symphony is performing two of Beethoven’s most ground-breaking compositions: Eroica, which revolutionized what a symphony could be, and the Violin Concerto which reinvented the concerto form.
“Before Beethoven’s Eroica, symphonies were seen as light entertainment, often played while members of the court were eating meals or between festivities. But Beethoven’s is much longer and more serious, with extensive musical development and variations that were unheard of at the time,” Futterman says. “Now symphonies are seen as the major showcase for an orchestra.”
Beethoven’s Eroica threw down the gauntlet and said to other composers: top this!
A revolutionary concerto featuring a gifted 17-year-old violinist
A few years after composing Eroica, Beethoven did the same thing for the concerto form.
“Before him, concertos were used for showing off the soloist’s technical skill. But Beethoven’s violin concerto is a major symphonic work in its own right. It’s weighty and profound for the whole orchestra, and for the soloist,” Futterman says.
Tackling those solos alongside the Bremerton WestSound Symphony will be 17-year-old Sophie Lee, a world-renowned violinist who’s played for Prince Charles and with Joshua Bell, and won the prestigious Menuhin Competition at the age of 12.
“I’ve been working with students for 40 years, and Sophie is quite literally the greatest child prodigy I’ve worked with in my entire career. She’s the real deal. She’s a star,” Futterman says. “Not only is she technically advanced, from the very beginning she’s had an innate sense of phrasing and style.”
Futterman says he used to write highly technical parts to challenge her, and Sophie always rose to the challenge without breaking a sweat. Since leaving Kitsap County she’s continued to develop her playing with the world’s best orchestras.
Free Beethoven concert at Silverdale Lutheran Church April 24
Thanks to a large anonymous donation as well as concert sponsorship from Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, Bremerton WestSound Symphony’s Beethoven concert is free, live and in-person! You may not have an opportunity to see this caliber of concert for free next season. It all takes place at Silverdale Lutheran Church, conveniently located just off the freeway at 11701 Ridgepoint Dr NW, Silverdale.
Call 360.373.1722 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your FREE tickets to the Beethoven concert, happening Sunday, April 24 at 3 p.m at the Silverdale Lutheran Church. Learn more at bremertonwestsoundsymphony.org.
While state mandates have recently been dropped, Bremerton WestSound Symphony will be following COVID protocols through June 30, 2022. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test required for entry, all patrons must wear face masks at all times. Read the full COVID-19 policy at bremertonwestsoundsymphony.org/covid-19-update.