This year marks the 250th birthday of renowned classical composer Ludwig van Beethoven.
The Santa Barbara Symphony is celebrating the occasion with the next date of its 2020-2021 season, “Beethoven @ 250.”
Pre-recorded live for virtual streaming rather than before a live, in-person audience to comply with COVID-19 restrictions, the symphony’s performance will be livestreamed at 7 p.m. on Nov. 21 and 3 p.m. Nov. 22. It will include Beethoven renditions from a string quartet consisting of violinist and Symphony concertmaster Jessica Guideri, violinist Elizabeth Hedman, violist Erik Rynearson, and cellist Trevor Handy.
The News-Press sat in on the program’s taping Friday morning at the Music Academy of the West’s Hahn Hall and watched the four musicians run through takes of “Beethoven’s Opus 18, No. 4 in C minor.”
Some takes were abruptly stopped after a few musical phrases the players thought were unsatisfactory. Each time the quartet played a complete take, they conversed with one another about passages that needed improving before moving on to the next take. If they needed an opinion other than their own, they sought the advice of Santa Barbara Symphony personnel manager Ryan Sweeney, who sat in the auditorium and listened for errors as he eyed the musicians’ charts on a tablet.
According to a press release, next weekend’s livestream will also include guest performances from artists such as pianist Robert Koenig, who serves as the chair of the UCSB Department of Music, and vocal soprano Julia Metzler, a Music Academy of the West Alumna and a Chrisman Studio Artist for Opera Santa Barbara’s 2019-2020 season.
Virtual tickets for “Beethoven @ 250” cost $43 per household with a series subscription that provides a link to view the livestream and re-watch the program for up to 30 days after the initial broadcast.
A pre-show program, featuring behind-the-scenes interviews, will be shown 30 minutes before both the Nov. 21 and 22 shows.
As was the case with the 2020-2021 season’s first virtual concert “Cabaret with Kabaretti,” DUO Catering is once again offering a Symphony-inspired dinner menu and signature cocktail that viewers can order for delivery or takeout during the broadcast.
“Beethoven @ 250” tickets can be purchased online at thesymphony.org.