Glacier Symphony brings a Beethoven masterpiece

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John Zoltek conducting the Glacier Symphony. (Photo courtesy Mark Holston)

Glacier Symphony launches its 35th Masterworks concert season with perhaps the greatest and most beloved piece from the entire symphonic repertoire, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor “Choral.”

To celebrate this event the concert program will begin with an introductory talk from the stage, accompanied by visual projections, by Maestro John Zoltek on Beethoven’s life and times and specifically the ninth symphony. Following a brief intermission, the ninth symphony will then be performed when the Glacier Symphony Orchestra and Chorale will take to the stage with the addition of four invited soloists.

The concerts will be held at Flathead High School Performance Hall on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 15 at 3 p.m.

“I wanted to present and discuss elements of Beethoven the composer and his times reminding our audience why he is considered one of the greatest and most relevant composers even today, 200 years following Beethoven’s earthly life,” explains Zoltek. “Many people have some ideas about the composer. But there are very significant details about his life and struggles with his deafness that make Beethoven’s life and his artistic contribution to our culture one of the most amazing and heroic stories in music history.”

Zoltek explains that attending a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 live in concert can be an inspirational and unforgettable experience.

“The brilliant use of the chorus in the final movement, singing the uplifting words of the ‘Ode to Joy’ penned by German poet Schiller, has become a one of THE signature moments of all classical music.”

He adds that the entire symphony is also deeply thrilling and soulful, from the massive grand first movement to the rhythmically driven Scherzo second movement, followed by the almost spiritually reverential and pastoral slow movement.

“It all finally builds to the monumental unleashed fourth movement when four soloists and full choir finally join the orchestra culminating in one of the greatest finales in all of music.”

Guest soloists will include Amy Chisholm, soprano; Natalie Rose Havens, mezzo-soprano; Glenn Seven Allen, tenor; and Alex Soare, bass-baritone.

“This will prove to be a wonderful event for veteran concert goers and those who may be new to classical music. Beethoven’s music is indeed thrilling. Come and experience why this composer continues to inspire and elevate the musical consciousness of humanity itself,” Zoltek finishes.

Tickets are available in three seating tiers online at www.gscmusic.org or by calling 406-407-7000. Generous support for this Masterworks concert is provided by Payne West Insurance and McGarvey, Heberling, Sullivan & Lacey PC.

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