Beethoven Festival

September 10 & 11, 2020 | 8:00 PM | Hill Auditorium

Buy one night, get the second half off

Goodyear Plays Beethoven


BEETHOVEN Coriolan Overture

BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 4

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 5

Stewart Goodyear, piano

Kazem Abdullah, conductor

SEPTEMBER 10 We open our Beethoven Festival with an all-Beethoven program that explores the composer’s fascination with fate. We begin with the Coriolan Overture, the opening to a five-act tragedy that Beethoven never completed. Although, to Beethoven’s credit, the unfinished composition was created between writing his fourth and fifth symphonies! International pianist Stewart Goodyear will take the stage next with Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto. The evening concludes in the exploration of fate with Symphony No. 5.

Beethoven 7



LISZT Mephisto Waltz No. 1

FARRENC Symphony No. 3

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7

Kazem Abdullah, conductor

SEPTEMBER 11 – On the second night of our Beethoven Festival, we invite you to experience the haunting sound of Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz No. 1, a piece based on the German legend of Faust, a man who made a pact with the devil. Louise Farrenc’s Symphony No. 3 unravels in musical structures that draw upon Beethoven, yet remain uniquely her own. Through the celebratory dance rhythms of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, this special back-to-back Beethoven Festival event is propelled with energy all the way to the end!

Stewart Goodyear, piano


Proclaimed “a phenomenon” by the Los Angeles Times and “one of the best pianists of his generation” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Stewart Goodyear is an accomplished young pianist as a concerto soloist, chamber musician, recitalist and composer. Mr. Goodyear has performed with major orchestras of the world , including the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Bournemouth Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, MDR Symphony Orchestra (Leipzig),  Montreal Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and NHK Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Goodyear began his training at The Royal Conservatory in Toronto, received his bachelor’s degree from Curtis Institute of Music, and completed his master’s at The Juilliard School. Known as an improviser and composer, he has been commissioned by orchestras and chamber music organizations, and performs his own solo works.  Last year, Mr. Goodyear premiered his suite for piano and orchestra, “Callaloo”, with Kristjan Jarvi and MDR Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig, and last summer, the Clarosa Quartet premiered his Piano Quartet commissioned by the Kingston Chamber Music Festival. Mr. Goodyear performed all 32 Beethoven Piano Sonatas in one day at Koerner Hall, McCarter Theatre, the Mondavi Center, and the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas.

Mr. Goodyear’s discography includes Beethoven’s Complete Piano Sonatas (which received a Juno nomination for Best Classical Solo Recording in 2014) and Diabelli Variations for the Marquis Classics label, Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto and Grieg’s Piano Concerto, and Rachmaninov’s Piano Concertos No. 2 and 3, both released to critical acclaim on the Steinway and Sons label. His Rachmaninov recording received a Juno nomination for Best Classical Album for Soloist and Large Ensemble Accompaniment. Also for Steinway and Sons is Mr. Goodyear’s recording of his own transcription of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker (Complete Ballet)”, which was released October 2015 and was chosen by the New York Times as one of the best classical music recordings of 2015. For Sono Luminus, he recorded an album, entitled “For Glenn Gould”, which combines repertoire from Mr. Gould’s US and Montreal debuts. Mr. Goodyear’s recordings for Orchid Classics include an album of Ravel piano works, and an album of Mr. Goodyear’s “Callaloo” Suite, his Piano Sonata, and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. His newest recording are the complete Beethoven piano concertos, which will be released on Orchid Classics in the spring 2020.

Highlights of the 2020 season are a US tour with Chineke!, his debut at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, performances with the Aalborg and Phoenix Symphonies, and the world premieres of his cello concerto and piano quintet by the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Penderecki String Quartet respectively.

Kazem Abdullah, conductor


A vibrant and compelling presence on the podium, American conductor Kazem Abdullah has been Music and Artistic Director of the City of Aachen, Germany, since 2012. Mr. Abdullah has also served as Assistant Conductor at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. A recipient of a prestigious 2010 Solti Foundation U.S Career Assistance Award, Abdullah was included by The Daily Beast on its 2009 list of “Young Rock Stars of the Conducting World.” Among Maestro Abdullah’s orchestral credits include the Berliner Kammerphilharmonie, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, New World Symphony, Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México, Orquestra de São Paulo, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Born in Indiana, Kazem Abdullah attended Interlochen Arts Academy and received his Bachelor of Music in Clarinet Performance from Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. He then studied at the University of Southern California before joining The New World Symphony as a clarinetist under Michael Tilson Thomas for two seasons, after which he continued his conducting studies at The Peabody Institute of the John Hopkins University.

Fast Facts


An Outlier

When compared to other works from Dvorâk’s “American period,” his Cello Concerto No. 1 in B minor occupies a unique sonic space. The work is notably meloncholic with some of the most emotive and expressive melodic phrases written during the composer’s stay in America. While other well-known compositions from this period are reflections on Dvorâk’s new surroundings, this cello concerto looks inward.


Not Your Average Fairy

Six years before Stravinisky premiered his four-movement orchestral suite of A Fary’s Kiss in New York City, the work was premiered as a ballet in Paris. This larger-scale production was adapted from the dark Hans Christien-Andersen fariytale, The Ice Maiden. The story is of a boy who is cursed with immortality from a kiss. The fairy in the story broke the mold for fairytales of this time period displaying a bosterious personality and commanding precense on stage.

By The Numbers

First performance of Beethoven's fifth Symphony

Sep. 10 Program Duration (minutes)

Sep. 11 program duration (minutes)