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January 27, 2019

Happy Birthday, Amadeus!

Martin Kuuskmann
  • Chevalier de Saint-Georges – Symphony No. 2
  • Mozart – Bassoon Concerto
  • Mozart – Symphony No. 41

We begin the festivities with Symphony No. 2 by Chevalier de Saint-Georges, otherwise known as Joseph Bologne. A contemporary of Mozart, Bologne was born the son of an aristocratic French plantation owner and an African slave. Despite the racial intolerance of the time, Bologne emerged as a virtuoso composer, violinist, and swordsman, leading a prestigious orchestra in Paris and performing personally for Marie Antoinette. He is often compared to Mozart for his compositions which some have cited as possible sources of inspiration for Mozart’s own compositions.

To follow, two-time Grammy-nominated bassoonist Martin Kuuskmann joins the Symphony for Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto. One of the leading solo instrumentalists today, Kuuskmann has performed at such venues as Carnegie Hall, The Lincoln Center, and The Kennedy Center.

The concert will close with Mozart’s final symphony, the “Jupiter Symphony,” named such over 30 years after Mozart’s death, likely due to the extravagant presence of trumpets and drums that give the Symphony a noble, powerful, and even godly quality.  

Elizabeth Blair of NPR’s All Things Considered perhaps describes the work best:

“Some have said the Jupiter sums up what had happened in symphonic music up to that point, and that it foreshadows the work of Beethoven. But more than that, it's exuberant and introspective, charming and complicated — a lot like life itself.”

Join us for a joyful tribute to the prolific classical composer!

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