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South Florida Symphony Orchestra Presents Brahms, Sibelius & Berlioz

February 18 @ 19:30 - 21:30 EST

| $25 – $95

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South Florida Symphony Orchestra Presents Brahms, Sibelius & Berlioz

South Florida Symphony Orchestra will present a passionate evening of masterworks from Brahms, Sibelius and Berlioz on Saturday, February 18, at 7:30 p.m., at the Tennessee Williams Theatre at The College of the Florida Keys. Led by Music Director Sebrina María Alfonso, SFSO’s 25th anniversary season brings Brahms’ final symphonic work, Double Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor, Op. 102, featuring duo Geneva Lewis on violin and Gabriel Martins on cello, along with Finnish composer Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 82 and the spirited overture to Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict, to new and returning classical music enthusiasts.

Johannes Brahms’ Double Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor, Op. 102, is the remarkable realization of a composer’s dream — to create a new “super” instrument that transcends customary limits. This composition united the violin and cello for the first time. The piece was composed as a conciliatory effort to his closest musical friend and collaborator Joseph Joachim, whom he had a falling out with over Joachim’s divorce. The first private performance of this piece was on September 21, 1887 at the Baden-Baden casino. The public premiere followed on October 18, and the work was performed several more times during that concert season.

Jean Sibelius was commissioned to write Symphony No. 5 by the Finnish government in honor of his 50th birthday on December 8, 1915, which had been declared a national holiday. The original version of the work was premiered by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Sibelius that day. The second version, only part of which survives, was first performed by the Orchestra of Turun Soitannollinen Seura in Turku exactly one year later. The final version, which is the one most commonly performed today, was premiered again by the Helsinki Philharmonic, conducted by Sibelius, on November 24, 1919. The first version of the new symphony kept much of his familiar orchestral style (consonant sonorities, woodwind lines in parallel thirds, rich melodic development, etc.) but also shows some similarities with the more modernist Fourth Symphony, featuring a few bitonal passages. The 1919 version seems more straightforward, monumental and classical, and also cleared away some digressions and ornaments. Sibelius commented on his revision: “I wished to give my symphony another – more human – form. More down-to-earth, more vivid.”

Though his unique and innovative music was championed in Germany, France never fully recognized Hector Berlioz in his own lifetime. Béatrice et Bénédict, his final completed work, would be premiered not in Paris, but in Baden. Composed between 1860 and 1862, this comic opera dates from a difficult period in the composer’s life, but despite his disappointments and increasing ill-health, the work is one of his lightest, most delightful creations. The opera’s plot is a simplified version of “Much Ado about Nothing” by Shakespeare, one of Berlioz’ chief sources of inspiration. Beatrice and Benedict cannot stand each other, so on a lark their friends and families decide to get them together through a series of deceptions (the basic outline of the romantic comedy has changed little in 400 years).

SFSO’s 25th anniversary season concludes in Key West with an all Dvořák program on March 25.

Tickets for the Masterworks III program at the Tennessee Williams Theatre at The College of the Florida Keys start at $25 and may be purchased by visiting  southfloridasymphony.org/masterworks-iii-2022-2023  or by calling (954) 522-8445.

For additional information, visit southfloridasymphony.org, call (954) 522-8445 or email info@southfloridasymphony.org.

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February 18
19:30 - 21:30 EST
$25 – $95
Event Category:


Tennessee Williams Theatre
5901 College Rd
Key West, FL 33040 United States
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Last update

February 2, 2023




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