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  • Writer's pictureMary Ann

Rising-Star Pianist Benjamin Grosvenor Joins Nashville Symphony for Beethoven’s Second Piano Concert

Tickets available starting at $26 – concerts also to feature Ralph Vaughan Williams’ landmark Fifth Symphony

The Nashville Symphony’s Aegis Sciences Classical Series returns on February 23-24 when British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor makes his Schermerhorn Symphony Center debut as the featured soloist on Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto. Guest conductor Christopher Seaman will lead the orchestra on a program that also includes Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 5 and Andrzej Panufnik’s Sinfonia Sacra.

Grosvenor, a rising star on the classical music landscape, first came to prominence at the age of 11, when he won the Keyboard Final of the 2004 BBC Young Musician Competition. In 2011, he became the youngest British musician ever to sign with the Decca Classics label, and more recently, he was named the inaugural recipient of The Ronnie and Lawrence Ackman Classical Piano Prize by the New York Philharmonic in 2016.

Great seats starting at $26 are still available for both performances, and the Symphony’s Soundcheck program offers $10 tickets to students in K-12, college, and grad school. Date night packages – which include two tickets, two glasses of wine and Goo Goo chocolates – are available starting at $68, and all February 23 ticket purchases include admittance to Happy Hour at the ’Horn, a pre-concert event with live music, discounts on select wine and beers, and more.

About the Program

Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 is actually the first of five the composer wrote for the instrument – but he chose to publish the ensuing Piano Concerto in C major first. The origins of the Second can be traced back to Beethoven’s teenage years, and he treated it very much as a work in progress, with the composition and multiple revisions believed to span from the late 1780s through 1798. 

Like each of his first three piano concertos, Beethoven’s Second builds on Mozart’s model for the genre, and its first two movements in particular find the composer experimenting with his predecessor’s archetype, while the intimate orchestration – there are no clarinets, trumpets or drums – creates a chamber-like feel to the piece. The work showcases aspects of Beethoven’s keyboard acumen that paved the way for his later innovations.

Written during the early years of World War II, Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 5 is considered by some to be the his finest achievement. The work has a distinctly pastoral feel, a result of the composer embracing the musical heritage of his native England, particularly its folk and religious traditions. Vaughan Williams dedicated the piece to Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, with whom he felt a strong connection.

The concerts open with Panufnik’s Sinfonia Sacra, which the composer wrote in 1963 to celebrate a millennium of Christianity in his native Poland – despite the fact that he had fled the country and its Communist regime nearly a decade earlier.

Tickets for Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto may be purchased:

Additional information including program notes, a Spotify playlist and bios for Benjamin Grosvenor and Christopher Seaman can be found at:

The GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony has earned an international reputation for its innovative programming and its commitment to performing, recording and commissioning works by America’s leading composers. The Nashville Symphony has released 29 recordings on Naxos, which have received 24 GRAMMY® nominations and 13 GRAMMY® Awards, making it one of the most active recording orchestras in the country. The orchestra has also released recordings on Decca, Deutsche Grammophon and New West Records, among other labels. With more than 140 performances annually, the orchestra offers a broad range of classical, pops and jazz, and children’s concerts, while its extensive education and community engagement programs reach 60,000 children and adults each year.


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