German orchestra comes to Bethlehem

March 3, 2013 by  

The Zoellner Arts Center in Bethlehem will welcome the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, from Germany, at the beginning of March.

The German orchestra will perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and the Emperor Piano Concerto No. 5. The opening notes of Symphony No. 5 might be some of the most recognizable in musical history.

The Beethoven Orchestra Bonn was founded over 100 years ago. The full-sized orchestra serves as the official orchestra of the Bonn Opera House. Beethoven Orchestra Bonn is directed by Stefan Blunier.

Blunier rose to attention while studying at Folkwang College in Essen and in Bern. In 2009, he released his first recording with the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn. The recording featured orchestral works by Schoenberg. Blunier was the Principal Guest Conductor for the Orchestre National de Belgique in Brussels during the 2010-2011 season.

The orchestra will be joined for the Emperor Piano Concerto by Louis Lortie, a pianist from Canada. Lortie studied with American virtuoso Leon Fleisher and Dieter Weber, a Beethoven specialist. The UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph described Lortie as a pianist “worth dropping everything to go and hear.”

The concert will take place on March 8 at 8:00 pm. An hour before it begins, Eugene Albulescu, Lehigh University Philharmonic Orchestra’s artistic director and chief conductor, will lead a discussion of Beethoven and his works. The arts center has probably worked with Bethlehem print companies to produce posters and flyers advertising the performance and discussion. The lecture is free, but concert tickets range in price from $36 to $45, with senior and student discounts available.