Great Works by Great Performers at “The Classical Concert,” Jan. 14

Media Contact:
Samara Napolitan
Grand Rapids Symphony
616.454.9451 x 110

More often than not, composers of an earlier time were also great performers. Mozart was a triple threat as a virtuoso pianist, violinist and violist in addition to his incomparable gifts as a composer. Beethoven earned early fame as a concert pianist, and Stravinsky also had a reputation as a fine pianist. On Thursday, January 14 at 7:30 p.m., audiences can experience works by all three of these legendary musicians at “The Classical Concert.” This Crowe Horwath Great Eras series concert will take place in St. Cecilia Music Center’s intimate Royce Auditorium and will feature the talents of violinist Angelo Xiang Yu. Music Advisor Larry Rachleff will lead the performance.

The program begins with Stravinsky’s “Concertino for Twelve Instruments,” a rarely performed masterpiece featuring the composer’s trademark dry wit, spiky rhythms and bittersweet lyricism. Next on the program is Mozart’s “Violin Concerto No. 4,” written when the composer was a teenager in the service of the Salzburg court. The piece exploits the tonally-concocted capacity of D Major, well-suited to violin music because of the structure of the instrument. Audiences will hear these brilliant sounds as guest soloist Angelo Xiang Yu, winner of the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition in 2010, performs the shining entrance and rich arpeggios. 

The concert concludes with Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 2.” During the composition of his Second Symphony, Beethoven came to terms with every musician’s worst fear—that his encroaching deafness was permanent and incurable. Despite the circumstances, Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 2” is one of his most humorous, energetic and outgoing works. The piece’s joviality may have provided Beethoven with comfort during his state of despair.    

Selections from the above works will be performed during “The Classical Coffee Concert,” Friday, January 15 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Cecilia’s Royce Auditorium. The Porter Hills Coffee Classics series is perfect for daytime audiences with its one-hour format and offers complimentary coffee and donuts at a 9:00 a.m. reception. 

St. Cecilia’s Music Center and the Grand Rapids Symphony are collaborating throughout the 2015-16 Season to offer their supporters access to new musical opportunities. Subscribers to the Crowe Horwath Great Eras series can receive 10% off at St. Cecilia’s Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Series concerts, including “Piano Extravaganza” on January 21 and “Virtuosity” on March 17. 

To hear a reprise of “The Classical Concert,” tune into Blue Lake Public Radio on FM 88.9 or FM 90.3 for its rebroadcast on Sunday, April 17, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. 


Tickets start at $26 and are available at the Symphony office, weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 300 Ottawa NW, Suite 100, (located across from the Calder Plaza), or by calling 616.454.9451 x 4. (Phone orders will be charged a $2 per ticket service fee, with a $12 maximum.) Tickets are available at St. Cecilia Music Center on the day of the concert beginning two hours prior to the performance. Tickets may also be purchased through Ticketmaster, 800.982.2787, online at or in person at Ticketmaster outlets: select D&W Fresh Markets, Family Fare Stores and Walmart. Tickets purchased at these locations will include a Ticketmaster service fee. Full-time students of any age are able to purchase tickets for only $5 on the night of the concert by enrolling in the Symphony’s Student Passport program. 

About the Grand Rapids Symphony

The Grand Rapids Symphony was officially organized in 1930 and is nationally recognized for the quality of its concerts and educational programs. Led by Music Advisor Larry Rachleff, Principal Pops Conductor Bob Bernhardt and Associate Conductor John Varineau, nine concert series are presented, featuring a wide range of music and performance styles. More than 400 performances are presented each year, touching the lives of some 200,000. Nearly half of those who benefit are students, senior citizens and people with disabilities reached through extensive education and community service programs. The Symphony’s Affiliated Organizations include the Grand Rapids Bach Festival, Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra, and Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Choruses. The Symphony also provides the orchestra for Opera Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Ballet Company. To learn more about the Grand Rapids Symphony please visit

This activity is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.