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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)

Light-years advanced over their forebears in the period-instrument revival,” the Orchestre 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 (Feb 24). It will then be available for on-demand streaming through March 26. Click here to see Gardiner talk about the ORR and its unique approach to Beethoven.

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.”

About the Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras (MCO)

The three ensembles that make up MCO – the Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique – are a leading force on the international music scene. Comprising world-class instrumentalists and singers of many different nationalities, they help realize the distinctive vision of their Founder and Artistic Director, John Eliot Gardiner, in groundbreaking projects spanning eight centuries of musical masterpieces. The Monteverdi Choir was founded in 1964 to bring fresh drama and immediacy to the choral repertoire. Performing on period instruments, the English Baroque Soloists specialize in Baroque and early Classical music, while the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique focuses on music of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Known for their expressive intensity, consummate technique, and historically informed performances, all three ensembles share an instantly recognizable core sound. Their 150-plus recordings have been honored with numerous prizes, including two Grammys and 14 Gramophone Awards.

To download high-resolution photos, click here.

Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, Monteverdi Choir and John Eliot Gardiner
“Beethoven 250”

Transatlantic tour, Feb 9–June 27
With Lucy Crowe, soprano; Jess Dandy, contralto; Ed Lyon, tenor; and Tareq Nazmi, bass

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 1 in C
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 2 in D
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 3 in E-flat, “Eroica”
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 4 in B-flat
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 5 in C minor
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 6 in F, “Pastoral”
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7 in A
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 8 in F
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9 in D minor, “Choral” (with Monteverdi Choir; Lucy Crowe, soprano; Jess Dandy, contralto; Ed Lyon, tenor; Tareq Nazmi, bass)
BEETHOVEN: Excerpts from Creatures of Prometheus
BEETHOVEN: Excerpts from Leonore (with Lucy Crowe, soprano)
BEETHOVEN: “Ah! Perfido” scene and aria (with Lucy Crowe, soprano)
BEETHOVEN: Violin Concerto No. 1

Feb 9–14: Barcelona, Spain
   Palau de la Música
      Feb 9: Symphony No. 1, Prometheus excerpts, Leonore excerpts, “Ah! Perfido”
Feb 10: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3
Feb 11: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5
Feb 13: Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7
Feb 14: Symphonies Nos. 8 & 9

Feb 19–24: New York, NY
   Carnegie Hall
     (Feb 18: pre-series talk: Gardiner in conversation with Beethoven scholar William Kinderman)
Feb 19: Symphony No. 1, Prometheus excerpts, Leonore excerpts, “Ah! Perfido”
Feb 20: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3
Feb 21: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5
Feb 23: Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7
Feb 24: Symphonies Nos. 8 & 9

Feb 27–March 3: Chicago, IL
   Harris Theater
      Feb 27: Symphonies Nos. 8 & 9
Feb 28: Symphony No. 1, Prometheus excerpts, Leonore excerpts, “Ah! Perfido”
Feb 29: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3
March 2: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5
March 3: Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7

May 11–16: London, UK
   Barbican Hall
      May 11: Symphony No. 1, Prometheus excerpts, Leonore excerpts, “Ah! Perfido”
May 12: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3
May 14: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5
May 15: Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7
May 16: Symphonies Nos. 8 & 9 

   June 22–27: European festival
      June 22: Symphony No. 1, Prometheus excerpts, Violin Concerto
June 23: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3
June 24: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5
June 26: Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7
June 27: Symphonies Nos. 8 & 9

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© 21C Media Group, January 2020

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