Beethoven on menu Friday at Foellinger

URBANA — Sinfonia da Camera will present its "No-Holds-Barred Beethoven" concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, featuring several guest artists and two major works by Beethoven, a concerto and a symphony.

The concert in Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts will feature Sinfonia conductor Ian Hobson at piano and guest artists Ollie Watts Davis, soprano; Viktoria Vizin, mezzo-soprano; Humberto Rivera, tenor; Ricardo Herrera, bass-baritone; and the University of Illinois Chorale and Oratorio Society with conductor Fred Stoltzfus.

The program: Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 73 and the "Emperor" Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125.

Hobson will conduct from the piano the "Emperor" piece.

"There seems to be no consensus as to the origin of this concerto's nickname. One version is that a French army officer, who was in the audience for the first Vienna performance, was swept away by the music and proclaimed it to be 'an emperor among concertos,'" a news release from Sinfonia reads. "Perhaps a publisher or pianist appended the name. Whatever the source, the 'Emperor' designation has remained indelibly linked to Beethoven's fifth piano concerto."

The vocalists and UI Chorale and Oratorio Society will join Sinfonia on Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, considered one of the cornerstones of the history of European music.

"In it Beethoven celebrates the potential of humanity. Historically this symphony, Beethoven's last, allowed him to look back at the demise of Napoleon and ahead with prophetic vision and sanguinity to the brotherhood of man," the news release reads.

Before the concert, Sinfonia's Student Performance Project will feature the Central Illinois Youth Orchestra from 6:45 to 7:15 in the Krannert lobby.

Tickets for the concert in Foellinger are $34 for adults, $33 for senior citizens, $12 for students and $5 for youths. Call 333-6280.

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