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Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique (ORR) & John Eliot Gardiner Celebrate “Beethoven 250” with Complete Symphonic Cycles in New York, Chicago, London and More (Feb 9–June 27)
Source: 21c

Light-years advanced over their forebears in the period-instrument revival,” theOrchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique (ORR) and John Eliot Gardiner are known for “Beethoven fresh and strange, with gutsy, brash and rasping instrumental voices united in triumph” (New York Times). To launch “Beethoven 250,” their yearlong celebration of the composer’s milestone anniversary, they perform complete Beethoven symphonic cycles at prominent destinations on both sides of the Atlantic, highlighted by next month’s residencies at Chicago’s Harris Theater (Feb 27–March 3) and New York’s Carnegie Hall (Feb 19–24), where the conductor – the winner of two Grammys and more Gramophone Awards than any other living artist – is a 2019-20 Perspectives artist. Featuring the Monteverdi Choir and a stellar quartet of vocal soloists in Beethoven’s incomparable “Choral” Symphony, the final New York concert will air live on WQXR 105.9 FM, the city’s sole dedicated classical station, and stream live at www.wq

Each of the ORR’s symphonic cycles will be presented over the course of a five-program concert residency; besides Chicago and New York, these will be held at London’s Barbican Hall (May 11–16), Barcelona’s Palau de la Música (Feb 9–14) and a major European festival, still to be announced (June 22–27). Beethoven’s First Symphony will be heard alongside three of his lesser-known works: the scene and aria “Ah! Perfido” and excerpts from both Leonore, the original version of Fidelio, and his only full-length ballet, The Creatures of Prometheus. “Ah! Perfido” and the Leonore excerpts will both feature Lucy Crowe, a soprano blessed with “artistry beyond compare” (The Independent, UK), as will the Ninth Symphony, for which Gardiner and the orchestra will also be joined by the Monteverdi Choir and soloists Jess Dandy, a “stunning young contralto” (The Times of London); tenor Ed Lyon, whose solo album debut has just been named “one of the year’s most enjoyable discs” (The Guardian); and bass Tareq Nazmi, who is, “quite simply, a revelation” (Seen and Heard International). In addition, the three European residencies will showcase the emergent young string players of the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras’ innovative 2019-20 Monteverdi Apprentices Programme. The first of its kind in the UK, the program enables outstanding young musicians to spend a full year working with Gardiner and his ensembles; of its 60-plus alumni, more than 70% have gone on to work as fully-fledged members of the MCO.

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In fall 2020, Gardiner, the ORR and the Monteverdi Choir look forward to completing “Beethoven 250” with a high-profile European tour of the master composer’s Missa solemnis. In a five-star review by the Financial Times, their recording of the work was pronounced “an incandescent performance driven by an intensity of phrasing, rapid-fire chorals and a radiant quartet of soloists.”

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