Welcome to another season of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra! I am pleased to present this year’s programming for our Masterworks series, Beethoven Discovers America.
In 2020, we celebrate the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth in 1770. This season celebrates both his musical achievement and his legacy—in America. Beethoven has a grip on the American popular imagination that no other classical composer has achieved. He was a revolutionary in his own day—more like a rock star than what we think of when we think of classical music. He pushed the boundaries.
That legacy of generating new, compelling classical music is alive and well, notwithstanding reports to the contrary, so this season also features work by American composers. Some of it is very familiar—but revolutionary in its own day—and some of it will be new to many in our audience. Some of it is quite timely, too. Beethoven himself was an immigrant, from Germany to Austria; Gershwin was the child of immigrants. At the end of their lives, both Rachmaninoff and Bartok became American citizens. This season celebrates the richness that the crossing of borders and boundaries brings to our musical life.
In addition to celebrating Beethoven and his musical legacy, we will be celebrating the achievements of American concert artists in all their diversity and variety. The season includes three very well-known American virtuosi, one artist who may be new to you, and one of our very own musicians. As our field continues to address its diversity challenges, we note with pride that two of our artists this season are African-American and two are women. One is a percussionist—a kind of soloist we don’t often see on stage.
It has been a pleasure selecting the rich and varied programming for your enjoyment this season.
Thank you so much for being part of the Annapolis Symphony family!
José-Luis Novo, Music Director
The Philip Richebourg Chair