In celebration of Ludwig Van Beethoven’s 250th birthday, the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra held a concert and performed two pieces from the renowned artist’s discography at Rudder Theatre on Feb. 9.
Sunday evening’s two-hour performance brought a packed house to the Texas A&M auditorium. The classical ensemble was conducted by orchestra director Marcelo Bussiki and included a special guest performance by pianist, and Cliburn Silver Medalist, Kenneth Broberg.
Scheduling orchestral performances with the Brazos Valley Symphony are made a year in advance, so preparation on several fronts is required. Executive Director of BVSO Mary Koeniger said she maintains a variety of responsibilities in the planning process.
“I began the hiring for the musicians that were needed from all over Texas,” Koeniger said. “They’re incredible professional musicians. I’m also in charge of all of the marketing of the concert. The stage preparation is done out of my office as well.”
Recruiting the musicians is an essential part of the executive director’s jurisdiction, Koeniger said.
“It’s important to have the best musicians in order to give audiences the best performance possible.” Koeniger said.
While Koeniger handles recruitment, marketing, staging and every factor related to the venue, orchestra director Bussiki spends hour after hour working with his musicians.
“Director Bussiki has been working with the guest artist, and is going through the music and how the guest artist likes to interpret the pieces,” Koeniger said.
Two major pieces of Beethoven’s music were played. The first piece performed was Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, commonly referred to as the “Pastoral Symphony.” The second piece performed Sunday evening was the auteur’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73, also known as the "Emperor Concerto”.
Koeniger said the two works are among Beethoven’s most famous symphonies, so performing them at Rudder Theatre was a given.
“The ‘Emperor’ is full of excitement, drama, and piano solos that are just incredibly difficult and wonderful to listen to,” said Koeniger. “The ‘Pastoral Symphony’ is an early Beethoven piece. He loved the outdoors; this is his salute to the outdoors. Everything from a lovely walk in the pastor to there suddenly being a humongous storm, it all plays out in that one beautiful symphony.”
With Sunday night’s performance, Koeniger said she wanted audience members to experience the same appreciation for classical music that she has garnered from past BVSO performances.
“First of all, I want everyone to have a wonderful evening. Also, for everything to go smoothly,” said Koeniger. “During the concert I want the music to move them. I want it to touch their hearts. Either it should make them feel great joy or unbelievable sadness.”
Broberg, the internationally renowned classical pianist based out of Minnesota, performed “Emperor Concerto” on Sunday. Koeniger said the pianist’s reputation as a musician preceded him, as did his generosity.
“I heard that he has just been incredible at the various venues he’s already played,” Koeniger said. “He’s also really nice to work with.”
And With the last tap of a key on Broberg’s piano, Rudder Theatre attendees took to their feet and provided the BVSO with three seperate standing ovations.