Alabama Symphony embarks on Beethoven cycle

Posted on: May 12, 2011

In Sunday’s (5/8) Birmingham News (Alabama), Michael Huebner writes, “The Alabama Symphony will tackle one of the most formidable challenges an orchestra can face when Music Director Justin Brown conducts all nine of Ludwig van Beethoven’s symphonies in a nine-day period. They will be the focus of a seven-concert festival, starting Friday and running through May 22. Straddling the classical and romantic eras, the symphonies represent a test of an orchestra’s technical and creative abilities, something Justin Brown knew when he took ASO’s music director position in 2006. … Brown has maintained that vigil, and then some, performing three Beethoven symphonies each season between 2006 and 2009, then ramping up with all five piano concertos in 2009-10. Following his visit to Birmingham in 2007, New Yorker critic Alex Ross praised ASO’s reading of Symphony No. 3 (‘Eroica’), placing it on his top 10 list of live performances that year. … ‘Every time I conduct the opening of the fifth symphony, it’s a new adventure,’ he said recently from Karlsruhe, Germany. ‘It’s an attitude that I must have for everything I perform. You have to deal with this music as though it has never been heard before.’ ”

Posted May 12, 2011