Dayton Philharmonic’s season-opener: Beethoven, Mendelssohn, premiere of Jacquith’s “Heldenleben 2020”

Posted on: September 29, 2021

“The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra opens its 2021-22 Masterworks Series with ‘Beethoven’s Eroica: A Salute to Heroes’ Oct. 1 … at the Schuster Center,” writes Russell Florence Jr. in Sunday’s (9/26) Dayton Daily News (OH). “The evening’s theme centers on the heroes of the pandemic…. Local composer Austin Jacquith, a Cedarville University music professor, has created a new work titled ‘Heldenleben 2020’ or ‘Heroic Life 2020.’ The piece has two themes…. The first is a quotation from the work’s titular inspiration, [Richard Strauss’s] ‘Ein Heldenleben,’ and represents ancient heroes. The second reflects modern heroes…. ‘(It’s) a wonderful piece dedicated to all the heroes of the COVID era—all the folks who kept us going when things were really dark,’ said DPO music director Neal Gittleman…. The program also includes Felix Mendelssohn’s … Violin Concerto [with] violinist Philippe Quint…. The concert concludes with Beethoven’s … Third Symphony, … previously scheduled to be the finale of the DPO’s 2019-20 season prior to the COVID-19 shutdown…. Gittleman … finds an artistic kinship between Beethoven’s ‘Eroica’ and Jacquith’s ‘Heldenleben 2020.’ ‘Both Austin’s piece and Beethoven’s are very intense, emotional works,’ he said. ‘(They) are very much statements and connected to vital events of their day.’ ”