SPCO to perform Beethoven’s famous Fifth Symphony

Arts / Article

Portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven by Joseph Karl Stieler, 1820.

Classical music fans, you’re in for a treat: Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (a Knight Arts grantee) is performing one of Beethoven’s most famous works this weekend, Symphony No. 5., for which conductor John Storgårds is returning to the Ordway to lead them. Before Beethoven’s 5th, the orchestra will play Sibelius’s atmospheric Pelléas and Mélisande; after that, Baiba Skride will make her SPCO debut, playing a violin concerto by Frank Martin.

This performance is part of SPCO’s plan to play all nine of Beethoven’s symphonies in Ordway’s Music Theatre this season by way of farewell to 30 years of playing in the soon-to-be-replaced space. The venue’s brand new Concert Hall is set to open for performances early next year.

Production photo for "33 Variations" courtesy of Park Square Theatre

Production photo for “33 Variations.” Courtesy of Park Square Theatre

On a related note: Beethoven aficionados, mark your calendars for Park Square Theatre’s upcoming production of “33 Variations,” directed by Ordway’s Producing Artistic Director James Rocco and written by Tony Award-winning playwright Moisés Kaufman (“The Laramie Project,” “Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde”). The story focuses on a terminally ill scholar’s quest to parse the creative process behind the famed composer’s work on the so-called Diabelli Variations, an elaborate suite of 33 variations for piano based on a simple waltz originally composed by Anton Diabelli. Alternately set in 19th-century Austria and present-day New York City, the play’s interest lies in unpacking the tangle of loss, achievement and obsession inherent in the lived human experience of creative genius.

Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra will perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, along with works by Sibelius and Frank Miller, October 2 through 4 in the Ordway Music Theater, 345 Washington St., St. Paul. (You can listen to a 2013 SPCO performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 here.) Park Square Theatre’s production of “33 Variations,” directed by James Rocco and written by Moisés Kaufman, will run from October 10 through November 2 on the theater’s proscenium stage, 20 W. 7th Pl., St. Paul.