Set for May 19-20 at Dominican University’s Angelico Hall, the Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D Minor concerts mark the first time in nine years that the Ninth, with full orchestra and chorus, will be performed in Marin.
“Alle Menschen werden Brüder” — all men will become brothers – is the ecstatic call from Friedrich Schiller’s poem, An die Freude (Ode to Joy), which both orchestra and chorus sing together in the finale of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D Minor. Mill Valley Philharmonic’s mission of community collaboration reflects this call to humanity by bringing together musicians and choristers from all across the Bay Area.
Singers for the performance come from the Dominican Chorale, directed by Francisco Ortiz, as well as from Marin Symphony Chorus, Marin Oratorio, California Redwood Chorale, Oakland Symphony Chorus, Berkeley Community Chorus, Diablo Valley Chorus and California Redwood Chorale. The Beethoven soloists are soprano Dr. Julia Nielsen, alto Elizabeth Baker, tenor Sergio González and baritone Igor Vieira.
“No matter how many times the symphony is performed or how many interpretations of the music there are, there is no denying its universal meaning and power,” says MV Philharmonic’s Laurie Cohen. “One can only imagine what life was like for Beethoven as he wrote his final symphony in near complete deafness. Beethoven’s isolation from the world – his well-known irascibility, his rapidly deteriorating health, and most of all his deafness – thrust his ‘wretched existence’ into living for one reason only: his art. One wonders whether his deafness gave him the freedom to imagine the cosmically abstract and revolutionary character of the Ninth Symphony.”
The performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 serve as somewhat of a book-end for Cohen, who studied it for four years and at the beginning of her conducting career 20 years ago. Cohen will conduct the symphony in her final concerts before she retires.
The 411: Mill Valley Philharmonic, along with the Dominican Chorale and singers from choruses across the Bay Area are set to join in for a pair of performances of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125. Saturday, May 19 (8pm) and Sunday, May 20 (2pm), at Angelico Hall, Dominican University of California, 50 Acacia Ave., San Rafael. Advance tix recommended. Free or by donation: https://mvpbeethoven9.bpt.me. MORE INFO or call 415.383.0930.