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New Charlotte Symphony season celebrates Beethoven’s 250th, jazz, soul and movies

Feb 16, 2020

By Lawrence Toppman, The Charlotte Observer 

Ludwig van Beethoven's 250th birthday falls in December 2020, a boon to orchestras across the globe: They have packed the season leading up to that event with music by the easily marketable master and can do the same with the season leading away from it. The Charlotte Symphony programmed six pieces by the birthday boy in 2019-2020 and will play another eight by him -- and even one about him -- in 2020-21.

But look beyond the Ludwigfest, and you'll discover rewarding surprises: A piece by Ernest Chausson you might not expect the CSO to play, short works by Philip Glass and Vivian Fung, weightier stuff by Jennifer Higdon and Arnold Schoenberg, symphonies by Shostakovich and Mahler. It's as if music director Christopher Warren-Green wanted to remind Charlotte's notoriously timid audiences that, in his day, Beethoven challenged and sometimes perplexed concertgoers, too.

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