HOLLY ADAMS, host
Holly Adams is a SAG-AFTRA performer with classic and conservatory training and a graduate of the International Dell’Arte School. Her professional career covers two decades and four continents! Known for her skills as a physical actor, her stage and film roles include Zombies, Aliens, and Shakespearean nymphs, witches, and warriors. Favorites include film features Gotham Blue, Anomie, and Here Alone; shorts Your Loving, Virginia as Virginia Woolf, Ovid, and Taps. Some stage favorites: Love, Loss and What I Wore; My Father’s Dragon; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Macbeth; A Christmas Carol; Hotspur in Richard II; Richard III in Kynge’s Games; as well as numerous physical theatre pieces.
HEATHER BUCHMAN, conductor
Heather Buchman is director of the Hamilton College Orchestra and Chamber Music program and Chair of the Department of Music. While serving as Education and Outreach Conductor for Symphoria, she helped develope numerous innovative programs, as well as for the orchestral and chamber programs at Hamilton College. She appears frequently as conductor and trombonist with the Society for New Music and other organizations.
Buchman completed professional studies in conducting at the Juilliard School, earned a M.M. in orchestral conducting from the University of Michigan, and a B. Mus. degree in trombone from the Eastman School of Music. More recent studies include conducting workshops in St. Petersburg, Russia. She served as Principal Trombonist of the San Diego Symphony from 1988-1997. She won prizes at the ARD International Music Competition in Munich, Germany and the New York Philharmonic Young Artists Concerto Competition
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 5
Mvt. 1 (Allegro con brio)
Hungarian Dance No. 1
Symphony No. 3
Mvt. 3 (Scherzo: Vivace)
Ludwig van Beethoven
ABOUT THE COMPOSERS
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany in 1770. His father was a singer, and was his first teacher. Ludwig became a traveling performer when he was young, and soon, he was supporting his family. In his early twenties, Beethoven moved to Vienna, where he spent the rest of his life. Beethoven was one of the first composers to make a living without being employed by the church or by a member of the nobility. At first, he was known as a brilliant pianist. But when he was around 30 years old, Beethoven started going deaf. Even though he could no longer hear well enough to play the piano, Beethoven composed many of his best works after he was deaf! Beethoven is considered one of the greatest musical geniuses who ever lived. He may be most famous for his nine symphonies, but he also wrote many other kinds of music: chamber and choral music, piano music and string quartets, and an opera.
Johannes Brahms was born in 1833 in Hamburg, Germany. His father was a musician who played several instruments, and Brahms loved music, too. By the time he was six, he’d invented his own system for writing notes down on a page. Of course, he also took instrument lessons, learning to play cello, horn, and piano. By the time he was ten, he was such a good pianist that he performed in public, as part of a chamber music concert. Brahms also loved books and read everything he could find including novels, poetry, and folk tales.When Brahms was older, he toured as an accompanist, playing piano for a Hungarian violinist. That music — and the gypsy bands Brahms heard later on when he traveled to Hungary — inspired his Hungarian Dances, which were very popular with the public. Hewrote 21 dances in total. The most famous one is the Hungarian Dance No. 5.
Many people considered Brahms to be the successor to Beethoven. For a long time, he didn’t want to write a symphony, because he was afraid his work would not be as good as Beethoven’s. Brahms ended up writing four symphonies, plus pieces in every musical form except opera. You may know one of his most famous pieces, the Lullaby. In fact, Brahms became so famous, he is now known as one of the 3 B’s — Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms — of classical music.
Louise Farrenc was a pianist, teacher, and composer. She taught piano at the Paris Conservatory for 30 years and was also considered to be one of the greatest female composers of the nineteenth century. She wrote music for the piano as well as for chamber groups and orchestra. She was encouraged to pursue music studies by her husband, Aristide Farrenc, who owned a publishing house that published her music.
Felix Mendelssohn was lucky enough to be born into a wealthy family, with loving parents who encouraged him to be a musician. And he certainly had the right name. Felix is Latin for “happy.” Mendelssohn was born in Hamburg, Germany, and grew up in Berlin. His grandfather was the great Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, but Felix Mendelssohn lived at a time when it was very difficult to be Jewish in Germany — there were all kinds of laws and taxes that applied only to Jews. Felix Mendelssohn’s father Abraham was a banker who didn’t want to deal with anti-Semitism — people discriminating against him just because he was Jewish. So he converted to Christianity, and changed the family name to Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. The Mendelssohn family held regular Sunday afternoon concerts at their house, so Felix grew up with music all around him. He was already a terrific pianist as a child, and started composing when he was ten. As a teenager, Mendelssohn had already written some of his greatest music. He was also a wonderful visual artist. Mendelssohn was very close to his older sister, Fanny, who also played the piano and composed. The two of them not only made music together, they also put on plays — like A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare.
Mendelssohn loved to travel. His trips to other countries inspired some of his best music, like his Scottish and Italian Symphonies. Mendelssohn also became well known as a conductor. When he was just 20, he put together and conducted the first concert of Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. Matthew Passion since Bach’s lifetime.
The first piece you will hear during the concert is the first movement from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. Beethoven uses a motif in this piece, which comes back over and over in different forms. Have a look at Beethoven’s motif, as played by the violins, below:
Motifs are sometimes used over and over throughout a piece of music. Sometimes they are turned upside down, or backward, or at a different speed (faster or slower), and sometimes the notes change by the rhythm stays the same. No matter how the composer uses a motif, the listener can almost recognize it.
ACTIVITY (All Ages)
1. Choose a THEME for a holiday, or a party.(Halloween, Christmas, Birthday Party, a season, etc.)
Theme example: WINTER
2. Now think of all the things that you would use to decorate for that (WINTER) theme/party.
These things are the motifs (ideas) that all together represent winter.
Example: Snow, snowman, snowballs, sledding, skiing, cold, mittens, boots, earmuffs etc.
3. Choose one of those things and call it your MOTIF; your idea that represents Winter.
Motif example: SNOWMAN
4. Draw or create different ways the same image can be altered just like Beethoven altered his motif. (feel free to use these examples)
See examples below.
Call that first image your MOTIF:
Here is the MOTIF backwards:
Augmented: (to make larger; expand)
Here is the theme Upside Down