Beethoven / Stravinsky, Myung-Whun Chung
Over the course of three evenings, the renowned South Korean conductor, Myung-Whun Chung, will take charge of a programme of well-known works by two leading composers, Beethoven and Stravinsky. On Friday 15th, Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th December 2023, Chung will conduct Ludwig van Beethoven's sixth symphony in F major Op. 68 followed by Igor Stravinsky's Le Sacre du printemps at La Fenice Opera House, the most prestigious music venue in Venice.
The programme opens with Beethoven's Sixth symphony, a work the German composer wrote just over a century before Le Sacre du printemps was conceived. One of Beethoven's most popular symphonic works, his Sixth symphony depicts 'scenes' from country life and nature including a famous storm which Beethoven is thought to have written to drive the music towards its exciting finale.
While the Beethoven work is usually referred to simply as his ‘Pastoral symphony’, Stravinsky's is often better known as The Rite of Spring. Although the work is very much part of the concert repertoire these days, The Rite of Spring was originally conceived as a piece for ballet. Written between 1911 and 1912, the work was first performed in Paris in 1913 although Stravinsky made alterations to the original score, notably in 1943. Today, The Rite of Spring, along with The Firebird, is considered to be a Stravinsky masterpiece, a notable work of modernism that set the tone for music in much of the rest of the 20th century.
Myung-Whun Chung's professional musical career began as a pianist although he has been conducting professionally for decades. Born in 1953, his first big opportunity came in the late 1970s when he was appointed as the Assistant Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Since then, he has gone on to work with several first-rate orchestras including the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, based in his home country's capital city. Chung also served as the musical director at the Bastille Opera in Paris and has been a recording artist for Deutsche Grammophon since the 1990s.
Do not hesitate and make your visit to the beautiful and charming city of Venice even more special by attending one of the three performances. Each of these wonderful concerts will undoubtedly provide outstanding musical entertainment.