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Watts Plays Beethoven

Pianist André Watts

May 3 — May 5, 8:00 p.m.Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Carl St.Clair, conductor
André Watts, piano
Pacific Symphony


BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor”
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 10


Preview Talk at 7 p.m. with host Alan Chapman. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.

Considered one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century and a perennial favorite guest of Pacific Symphony, André Watts returns to the stage with one of Beethoven’s most beloved works – the "Emperor Concerto." A work prized for its serene and tender second movement, Beethoven’s last piano concerto is a testament to the composer’s emotional range. Shostakovich complements the evening with his intense 10th Symphony. 

Enjoy image magnification on our big screens during the concert for a closer look at the artists!

Listen to this:

  • Whether or not we believe Shostakovich’s alleged statement that the Symphony No. 10 is “about Stalin and the Stalin years,” this is clearly a work with bleak, dark and violent things on its mind. The initials of the composer’s name become a theme (as do those of a lover) that seems victorious at the end, but an ambiguity remains. Note the many meandering solos for the woodwinds — as dire a picture of loneliness and isolation as any in music.