Beethoven Comes to the Beach for LB Symphony Classics

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beethoven-lbsoMaestro Enrique Arturo Diemecke and the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra bring Beethoven to the beach in a big way on Saturday, November 21 when the orchestra performs two of Beethoven’s most popular pieces: Symphony No. 1 in C Major, and Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, “Eroica.” Add Kopetzki’s Concerto for Marimba and String Orchestra featuring dynamic marimba player Saul Medina, and you’ve got the perfect ingredients for an exciting evening of memorable music!

This concert, part of LBSO’s 2009-2010 “Beethoven Comes to the Beach” season, is the second of six Classics Concerts in a season that features all nine Beethoven symphonies as well as other major classical works.

“After beginning our season with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, we’re returning to two of Beethoven’s earlier seminal works, both of which are spectacular in their own right,” says Diemecke. “I’m also pleased to welcome master marimba player Saul Medina, which whom I have worked with in the past. Our audiences are in for a real treat as they watch and hear Saul perform Sarmientos’ Concertino for Marimba and String Orchestra with LBSO.”

Saul Medina attended the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico and continued his musical studies at Los Angeles Music Academy at Pasadena, California. In 2004 he was invited as soloist to 4th Marimba International Festival that took place in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, Mexico. In 2005 he was awarded 1st prize in the competition for percussion held by the National Music Conservatory and he was invited to the 5th Marimba International Festival at the National Centre of Arts in Mexico City, where he participated as soloist and as art director for Ensamble Rythus. In 2008 appeared as soloist of the Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá, Colombia and The Chamber Orchestra of the National Conservatory in Mexico City. He appeared as a soloist at the Sala Principal del Palacio de Bellas Artes. He was in charge of premieres of works of contemporary music, marimba concerts as well as their recordings. At the moment, he is supervising the Minimalist Music Ensemble of the National Music Conservatory, and the Ensamble Rythus.

The Music for Beethoven Comes to the Beach

Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21

Born and educated in Bonn, Germany, Beethoven settled in Vienna in 1792. and studied with Haydn, soaking up many of his compositional techniques and innovations. Beethoven premiered the First Symphony on April 2, 1800. By that time, he was well known as a pianist and in great demand as a soloist; his chamber and piano compositions had begun to attract serious attention and he had acquired numerous sponsors from among the aristocracy and the well-to-do. He dedicated the First Symphony to one of them, Baron Gottfried van Swieten, a supporter and friend of Mozart, who had established a large library of music and promoted the music of Bach and Handel to Viennese audiences. The concert was a benefit for Beethoven where he was featured both as performer and composer. The initial reception of the symphony was lukewarm at best, with one critic calling it “a caricature of Haydn pushed to absurdity.” In a short time, however, the Symphony became a great favorite and has remained popular some 200 years later.

Kopetzki: Concerto for Marimba and String Orchestra

Eckhard Kopetzki studied at the University of Osnabrück and the Hochschule für Musik in Würzburg. Since 1985 he has been teaching percussion instruments, theory and harmony at the Berufsfachschule für Musik in Sulzbach-Rosenberg, Bavaria. He has composed music for instructional use as well as concert works, and his name has become linked with the marimba in a long list of compositions for the instrument. He has won prizes for his compositions, several of which have been recorded. His Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra was composed in 1998 for the Polish virtuosa of the marimba, Katarzyna Myćka, who gave the premiere in Stuttgart in 1999, with the Camerata Pforzheim, and subsequently recorded the work with the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Kopetzki describes the concerto as being in a Romantic/Impressionistic style and places the main emphasis on the manifold possibilities of the marimba.

Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op.55, “Eroica”

Few musical manuscripts have elicited so much musicological discussion as has Beethoven’s personal conductor’s copy of his Symphony No. 3. The story of its original dedication to Napoleon, the chief military defender of the French Revolution with its ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, and the subsequent violent erasure of the dedication when Napoleon crowned himself emperor, has been told time and again. But his disappointment with the Emperor was tinged in no small part by self-interest. Hoping at the time to establish a foothold in the musical life of Paris, the composer had planned to travel there with his mentor, Prince Lobkowitz, using the premiere of the Symphony as a passport to the French capital and lucrative commissions. Napoleon’s coup, and the resultant political upheavals, disrupted these plans and are the probable reason why the Symphony, finished at the beginning of 1804, did not receive its premiere in Vienna until a year later. The symphony had a revolutionary impact on Vienna’s audience. The constantly modulating keys, rhythmic shifts, large dynamic leaps and unfamiliar harmonies baffled Beethoven’s friendly but conservative public, and the reception was anything but enthusiastic. It took a few years for the Viennese to warm to this innovative work.

All LBSO Classics Concerts take place at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center in the Terrace Theater, 300 East Ocean Blvd. in Long Beach. Concerts begin at 8 p.m. A pre-concert lecture for ticketed patrons begins at 7 pm. and offers entertaining insights into the evening’s repertoire.

Tickets are $18 – $72. For more information, call 562-436-3203, or visit The Long  Beach Symphony Orchestra is proud to have Lexus as its 2009-2010 Classic Season sponsor.

Established in 1935, the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra (LBSO) celebrates its 75th Anniversary during the 2009-2010 season. Each year loyal audiences return for its six Classics concerts in the Terrace Theater. For more information, visit

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