Symphony Tacoma continues its celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday with Ludwig AND Beethoven on March 21, 2020 in the Pantages Theater.

The concert opens with Mozart’s longest and final symphony, No. 41 “Jupiter,” which is notable not only for its power and beauty, but also for its musical innovations and techniques that had previously been shunned. Beethoven was said to have been inspired by its five simultaneous melodies, or polyphony.

Next up is the world premiere of Composer in Residence David Ludwig’s The Bleeding Pines. Inspired by Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy,” it is based on a play by poet Ray Owen that tells the story of North Carolina’s endangered Round Top Long Leaf Pine forest and one woman’s efforts to save that ancient tract of land from oblivion.

“That forest around Southern Pines is a mystical, spiritual place—a place where one feels the passing millennia in a single visit walking through woods and where the smell of the pines sits still in the air,” says Ludwig. “The tract of forest survives today because of the passionate work of Helen Boyd Dull and the continued efforts of conservationists who appreciate the timeless beauty of the trees.

“Owen and I have collaborated on multiple song cycles using his poetry, but this new oratorio is an opportunity to paint his story on the great canvas of the orchestra and chorus. That the premiere of this new work is taking place in Tacoma in the Pacific Northwest is meaningful, given how important the environment and the green life of trees is to people who live here.”

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