Jacksonville Symphony to present a concert of ‘German Giants’

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The Jacksonville Symphony will present a concert with three of the largest names in classical music Schoenberg, Mendelssohn and Beethoven Dec. 1, 2 and 3 at Jacoby Symphony Hall in the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts.

“This fourth Masterworks concert, 'German Giants,' is one I’m especially looking forward to,” said Music Director Courtney Lewis, who is in his third season as music director of the Symphony. “I can’t wait to share it with our audiences in Jacksonville.”

To be held at 8 p.m. on Dec. 1 and 2 and at 3 p.m. on Dec. 3, the concert is book-ended by two pieces that were considered to be modern for their time period: Schoenberg’s “Five Pieces for Orchestra” and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3.

The Schoenberg is presented in five movements and will be paired with visual projections of artwork by Egon Schiele, an Austrian 20th century painter. Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, featuring guest artist Tai Murray, will provide a haven of repose between the two iconic pieces it is paired with.

A former BBC young generation artist, member of the Marlboro Festival and of Lincoln Center's Chamber Music Society, Murray gave her London Proms debut during the summer of 2016 with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Living between New York and Berlin, Murray has been heard on stages such as the Barbican and London Royal Albert Hall and aside orchestras such as Chicago Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.

At the time of its creation, Beethoven’s Third Symphony was the largest to date. It is more commonly known by the name “Eroica” and is widely considered to have ushered in the Romantic era. Originally to be dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte, the piece was to be called “Bonaparte.” When Napoleon decided to declare himself emperor, Beethoven was so disappointed in the supposed hero that he was said to have ripped up the first page and scribed “Sinfonia eroica” on the front.

During the extensive search for a new concertmaster, the Jacksonville Symphony will be bringing in seven candidates to perform with the Symphony during the season. For this concert, Vivek Jayaraman will take the stage with Courtney and the Symphony. Previously, Jayaraman performed with the Symphony Nov. 25 for “Home Alone.”

Jayaraman is a member of The Florida Orchestra in St. Petersburg, and has played with several major orchestras in the United States, including The Cleveland Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. Jayaraman was concertmaster of the Canton Symphony Orchestra (OH) from 2015-2017 and has performed as concertmaster with the New World Symphony.

The Symphony will host a pre-concert conversation beginning one hour prior to the Masterworks concerts on-stage in Jacoby Hall. Using an informal half-hour format, Lewis and occasionally other guest conductors/artists will discuss the music to be presented that evening, complete with audio examples and questions from the audience.

Visit http://www.jaxsymphony.org/ for more information. 

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