San Diego Symphony, juxtaposing Beethoven and John Adams

Posted on: January 7, 2020

“Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday is now being celebrated here, there and everywhere,” writes George Varga in Sunday’s (1/5) San Diego Union Tribune. “ ‘We have a fidelity to Beethoven,’ said San Diego Symphony CEO Martha Gilmer, who worked closely with the orchestra’s new music director, Rafael Payare, to program the symphony’s ongoing ‘Beethoven at 250’ celebration…. San Diego Symphony principal guest conductor Edo de Waart … will conduct nine ‘Beethoven at 250’ concerts here this month…. ‘Everything Beethoven wrote was eye-opening,’ de Waart said in a recent phone interview…. His sentiments are shared by violin star Leila Josefowicz, who will perform here with de Waart and the San Diego Symphony on Jan. 17 and 18. ‘After he emerged, Beethoven influenced all composers from then on,’ Josefowicz said…. One of those is John Adams…. By coincidence, de Waart was one of Adams’ earliest and most profound champions. During his tenure as the San Francisco Symphony’s music director, de Waart appointed Adams as the orchestra’s composer-in-residence in 1982. De Waart went on to record such pioneering compositions by Adams as ‘Shaker Loops,’ ‘Harmonium’ and ‘Nixon in China,’ and his endorsement helped propel Adams onto the world stage.”