Music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, and Ludwig van Beethoven, the three composers who form the bedrock of the Classical movement, is featured on Sunday, February 9, when the Symphony of the Potomac presents its second concert of the 2019-2020 season, The Founders. Under the baton of of Music Director Joel Lazar, the 3:00 p.m. concert will take place at Montgomery College’s Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring, Maryland.

The program will open with Mozart’s Overture to Idomeneo, followed Haydn’s Symphony No. 104, London. The second half features the Symphony No. 3, Eroica, by Beethoven.

Idomeneo is generally regarded as Mozart’s first mature opera, though written when Mozart was only 25 years old. Premiered in 1781 and revised later by Mozart and others, it had few performances over the next two centuries, entering the standard repertoire only in the 1970s. Haydn’s Symphony No. 104 was one of twelve symphonies written for a sophisticated London audience that regarded Haydn as a major celebrity and looked forward to hearing his new compositions. In writing it, his final symphony, Haydn pulled out all the stops to surprise, shock, and entertain his fans, who loved it. Listeners were less convinced about Beethoven’s Symphony #3, which marked the beginning of Beethoven’s move towards the Romantic period. Longer than any previous Classical symphony, it featured new harmonies, a thematic unity unknown in earlier compositions, and a wider emotional breadth than was expected by listeners. Its premiere was controversial, with the audience split among those who immediately liked it, and those who thought it was a waste of their time. History has been on the side of the former.

“This season, we’re highlighting four groups of composers. This group, the founders, are the three most associated with the Classical period. Haydn and Mozart perfected the style, and Beethoven pushed it to its limits,” noted Maestro Lazar. “This year is Beethoven’s 250th birthday, and we’re especially happy to celebrate it with his Eroica symphony,” he added.

Advance tickets to the performance, $15 (adults), $5 (student/youth under 18), and $10 (groups of 10 or more), plus a nominal service charge, are available from until Saturday, February 8. Tickets purchased at the door are $20 (adults), and $5 (students with ID/youth under 18).

The Symphony of the Potomac is a community-based, primarily volunteer orchestra under the direction of Joel Lazar. The orchestra provides Montgomery County and the Greater Washington area with the opportunity to enjoy symphonic music at a reasonable price. It is funded in part by the Montgomery County government and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.

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