Beethoven’s Emperor

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Drew Petersen, piano

Beethoven’s Emperor

Sunday, Oct 18, 2020 / 4:00 pm
from $22

Don’t miss this epic afternoon celebrating the 250th anniversary of master symphonist Ludwig van Beethoven. For this highly anticipated concert, we are honored to bring back piano virtuoso Drew Petersen, winner of the 2017 American Pianists Awards and Christel DeHaan Classical Fellowship and Artist-in-Residence at the University of Indianapolis and 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient.

The Santa Fe Symphony
Guillermo Figueroa, conductor
Drew Petersen, piano


Symphony No. 2 in D Major, op.36


Overture to Egmont, op.84


Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, op.73, “Emperor”



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October 18
4:00 pm
Event Tags:


The Lensic
211 W. San Francisco Street
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Paid public parking is available at the Sandoval Municipal Garage, 216 West San Francisco Street (across the street from The Lensic). Additional metered parking is available throughout the downtown area.

Of Note

The complete incidental music is seldom heard today, but the overture has become one of Beethoven’s most famous.  It does not, however, attempt to tell the story of the play, and listeners should not search for a musical depiction of events.

At the time he wrote this concerto, Beethoven was 38 and his hearing was deteriorating rapidly.  It had become so weak by this time that he knew he could not give the first performance of the concerto–this is the only one of his piano concertos for which he did not give the premiere.  That premiere had to wait two years after the concerto’s completion: it took place in Leipzig on November 28, 1811, with Friedrich Schuster as soloist.

Historians have been unanimous in finding Beethoven’s first two symphonies conservative, but to contemporary listeners the Second Symphony sounded audacious enough.  After the premiere in Vienna on April 5, 1803, a reviewer complained that “the first symphony is better than the [second] because it is developed with a lightness and is less forced, while in the second the striving for the new and surprising is already more apparent.”

Drew Petersen, piano

Notably a 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the top prize at the 2017 American Pianists Awards of the American Pianists Association, Drew Petersen was also a top prizewinner in the Leeds International Piano Competition, the Hilton Head International Piano Competition, Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competition, and the New York Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition, among others. He was acknowledged as a “Rising Star” by BBC Music Magazine.

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Guillermo Figueroa, principal conductor

One of the most versatile and respected musical artists of his generation—renowned as conductor, violinist, violist, and concertmaster—Guillermo Figueroa is the Principal Conductor of The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus. He also serves as the Music Director of the Music in the Mountains Festival in Colorado, Music Director of the Lynn Philharmonia in Florida, and is the founder of the highly acclaimed Figueroa Music and Arts Project in Albuquerque.

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Program Notes

In 1809, Beethoven was invited to contribute incidental music to a revival of Goethe’s tragedy Egmont at the Vienna Burgtheater. The motives of the theater’s managers were clear: the French occupation of Vienna had just ended, and they wanted to celebrate their own freedom with a production of a pl…

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