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Brooklyn Chamber Orchestra To Offer An Evening Of Rare Melodies And Cultural Fusion At BEETHOVEN/HARRISON

3 min read

Brooklyn’s premiere professional orchestra, the Brooklyn Chamber Orchestra has announced its upcoming concert Beethoven/Harrison on Saturday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. at St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church.

In an evening that seamlessly blends musical sounds and inspirations from different and diverse cultures, the performance celebrates the mastery of musical works by Beethoven and Mahler, while offering audiences the New York premiere of Lou Harrison’s rare Concerto for Piano with Javanese Gamelan.

The evening opens with a unique collaboration between award-winning and pianist Adam Tendler and Harrison’s original instruments in his rare Concerto for Piano with Javanese Gamelan. Composed nearly 40 years ago, it showcases the composer’s adventurous spirit in building instruments to explore his passion for Javanese gamelan— a classical Indonesian melodic-percussion ensemble of metallophones, drums, gongs, strings, and voices—that was further inspired by his lessons with the great Javanese master KPH Notoprojo.

Adding a layer of historical resonance, the performance of Lou Harrison’s Concerto will utilize the Gamelan Si Betty, considered the largest American-built set of its kind and comprised of the original instruments built, tuned, and decorated by Harrison and his partner William Colvig. Bequeathed to Jody Diamond, Harrison’s gamelan teacher, orchestrator, and Musical Director of the evening, the concert’s gamelan musicians are from the NY-based group Son of Lion—the oldest gamelan composers’ collective in the United States. The challenge of this composition extends beyond its unconventional instrumentation—it lies in the intricate adjustment of the piano to match the tuning Harrison chose for the gamelan instruments. This musical phenomenon weaves the threads of Lou Harrison’s legacy into the vibrant contemporary music scene in Brooklyn, creating a truly unique and unforgettable experience for all in attendance.

Under the baton of conductor Philip Nuzzo, the Brooklyn Chamber Orchestra will bring the evening to a magnificent close with two additional masterpieces. Gustav Mahler’s Blumine Movement, a rarely performed piece initially rejected as the 2nd Movement of Mahler’s 1st Symphony, offers a unique glimpse into Mahler’s compositional decisions, adding an insightful layer to the repertoire. The orchestra will also present Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92. Comprising four movements, this symphony stands as a testament to Beethoven’s innovation and musical brilliance. Notably considered Beethoven’s personal favorite, it is celebrated for its pervasive sense of true spontaneity.

“I became acquainted with Lou Harrison’s work while I was in college. It is a side of music we don’t get to hear very often,” notes Nuzzo. “Being able to get Jody and Adam, both experts in this musical genre, to collaborate with us on this program makes this a must-see!” he continues. Brooklyn is the most diverse place on earth and this evening of music will be the perfect reflection of its eclectic musical palette.” “Lou considered gamelan ‘the most beautiful music on the planet,’” adds Diamond. “He would be delighted that this audience is one step closer to experiencing his musical world.”


Beethoven/Harrison will take place on Saturday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. at St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church. Tickets start at $40 and are available for purchase at https://cloud.broadwayworld.com/rec/ticketclick.cfm?fromlink=2290937®id=177&articlelink=https%3A%2F%2Fbrooklynchamberorchestra.org%2Fconcerts%2Fbeethoven-harrison%2F?utm_source=BWW2022&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=article&utm_content=bottombuybutton1


St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church is located at 157 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights and is accessible by 2,3,4,5, A, C, F and R trains.


Founded in 2002, The Brooklyn Chamber Orchestra is committed to building a strong foundation for classical music in Brooklyn. Our mission is to develop and sustain an orchestra of the highest artistic standards in Brooklyn; and to enrich and inspire through music, community engagement, and education.


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