Masterworks V: Roman Festivals

Masterworks V


Roman Festivals: Resphigi & Beethoven with pianist Awadagin Pratt

Sponsored by The Evans Group of Merrill Lynch

Apr 12 – 7:30 pm, Maryland Hall

Apr 13 – 7:30 pm, Maryland Hall

Apr 14 – 3:00 pm, Strathmore – Please Click Here to Buy Tickets on Strathmore’s Website


Masterworks V Program

Nicky Sohn World Premiere ASO/GLFCAM Co-commission (+)

van Beethoven Concerto for Piano No. 4 in G major, op. 58, Awadagin Pratt, piano 

O. Respighi Feste Romane


We begin the performance with a world première from composer Nicky Sohn, the second instance of a co-commissioning project made possible through the partnership “Embracing 21st Century Voices” between the ASO and the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music. Read more about Ms. Sohn´s career and professional performances on our website.

Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major was his last appearance as a soloist with an orchestra. It’s been called the most admirable, singular, artistic and complex Beethoven concerto ever, and is a favorite of concert audiences. American pianist Awadagin Pratt will join the ASO as the soloist.

Among his generation of concert artists, pianist Awadagin Pratt is acclaimed for his musical insight and intensely involving performances in recital and with symphony orchestras. Mr. Pratt is also a conductor, and a strong advocate for music education. A favorite at college and university performing arts series, Mr. Pratt participates in numerous residency and outreach activities wherever he appears. Mr. Pratt has been a frequent visitor as a performer to the White House, most notably during the Clinton and Obama administrations.

Roman Festivals is a tone poem in four movements for orchestra completed in 1928 by the Italian composer Ottorino Respighi. It is the last of his three tone poems about Rome, following Fountains of Rome (1916) and Pines of Rome (1924). Each movement depicts a scene of celebration in ancient and contemporary Rome, specifically gladiators battling to the death, the Christian Jubilee, a harvest and hunt festival, and a festival in the Piazza Navona. Musically, the piece is the longest and most demanding of Respighi’s Roman trilogy. 

Notably, Roman Festivals requires more musicians and instruments than any other piece being performed this season, a logistical challenge for the ASO’s production team. “This piece is special, and its size adds to the experience,” said Miram Fogel, Director of Artistic Operations. “Audiences will see and hear a large number of musicians on stage, which calls for extra coordination and planning. Plus, it features instruments not typically found in an orchestra, such as a mandolin, organ, and buccine (a kind of ancient brass instrument).”

Thank you to Peter Evans and the Evans Group for your support of this concert!


Nicky Sohn, World Première ASO-GLCAM co-commission. Title to be submitted

3 flutes (3rd doubling piccolo), 3 oboes (3rd doubling English horn), 3 clarinets (3rd doubling bass clarinet), 3 bassoons (3rd doubling contrabassoon), 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, 1 tuba, timpani, 3 percussionists, harp, piano, celeste, and strings


Ludwig van Beethoven, Concerto for Piano No. 4 in G major

Solo piano, 1 flute, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, and strings

As played by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Krystian Zimerman, pianist, conducted by Leonard Bernstein


Ottorino Respighi, Feste Romane

3 flutes (3rd doubling piccolo), 2 oboes, 1 English horn, 2 clarinets, 1 E-flat clarinet, 1 bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 1 contrabassoon, 4 horns, 4 trumpets, 3 buccine, 3 trombones, 1 tuba, timpani, bass drum with cymbal, chimes, cymbals, military drum, orchestra bells, ratchet, snare drum, sleigh bells, tam-tam, tambourine, triangle, woodblocks [high and low], xylophone, piano (4-hands), organ, mandolin, and strings

As played by Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano