Celebrating Beethoven

Celebrating Beethoven

Fairfax Symphony, Fairfax Choral Society and Music and Arts Chorus at Mason stage.

Doug Mears, artistic director, Fairfax Choral Society

Doug Mears, artistic director, Fairfax Choral Society

— One of the most celebrated of Beethoven’s symphonies, Symphony No. 9

Where and When

Fairfax Symphony Orchestra with the Fairfax Choral Society and the Music & Arts Chorus in performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at George Mason University, Center for the Arts, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. Performance: Saturday, May 13 at 8 p.m. Tickets $24, $39, $53. Call 888-945-2468 or visit www.fairfaxsympho.... Pre-Performance discussion at 7 p.m. with David Ginder of WETA 90.9-FM with FSO Conductor Christopher Zimmerman and special guests.

with its famous “Ode to Joy” choral will be performed by the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra (FSO) in a special evening. The FSO is observing its 60th year as a leading Fairfax County arts institution.

Why will it be special evening? The “Ode to Joy” performance will include a collaboration with other major Fairfax County-based performing arts gems – the Fairfax Choral Society and the Music & Arts Chorus combining for the “Ode to Joy.”

Beethoven’s 9th has “a clear message of a common humanity in his ‘Ode to Joy,’” said Christopher Zimmerman, music director, FSO. The symphony was written as Beethoven grappled with deafness, adding “an extra dimension to appreciating his extraordinary achievements and the nature of his musical expression.”


Photo Contributed

Adult Chorus Fairfax Choral Society

“It is a good thing for enriching the artistic life of a community if its arts organizations are able to work together and collaborate on projects,” added Zimmerman. “It will bring out the best in each organization. It can produce something new, and it helps bring all arts to a wider audience.”

The full evening of Beethoven will also include the FSO performing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1. By performing both Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 and No. 9 in one concert an audience “will be able to hear the extraordinary artistic evolution of this composer,” said Zimmerman.

For the Fairfax Choral Society, now in its 55th year, “performing masterworks for chorus and orchestra” is always a high on the list of performances,” said Doug Mears, artistic director. Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” is “one of the greatest in this genre and it is a privilege for our choruses to be able to perform it with the FSO. I hope our audience will experience ecstatic and exhilarating emotion.”

Terry Stoneberg, director of music, Music and Arts Chorus described “Ode to Joy” as one of the most difficult works for chorus ever written. “Too often choruses are buried by the sheer volume of sound that an orchestra produces.”

At the Center for the Arts performance, “the audience will not only be able to hear the combined choruses, they will feel the chorus singing through the orchestra and get a sense of the excitement and power that Beethoven wrote into this piece.”

This is a rare evening with some of Fairfax County’s finest performing artists working together for a stirring connection with Beethoven’s greatness.