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This month Roger Wiesmeyer and an ensemble of local musicians – many of them members of the Nashville Symphony – will perform two benefit concerts for a local charity featuring music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as Roger has done every year at this time since 2003.
This year’s concerts will take place:
Friday, January 15, noon, at St. George’s Episcopal Church, 4715 Harding Road, Nashville.
Sunday, January 31, 6 pm, at Edgehill United Methodist Church, 1502 Edgehill Avenue, Nashville.
This year’s concert features the C minor piano concerto, K. 491 conducted by Vinay Parameswaran with Roger as piano soloist. Admission is $10, and all proceeds benefit The Contributor.
“I just adore it.” says Roger Wiesmeyer, speaking of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491. “I’ve never played it on piano before. I’ve sat in the orchestra for performances of this concerto three or four times and every time it just completely captures my imagination, for at least the week after – I’ll have at least two weeks of living with it and thinking about it all the time. There is this incredible mood that Mozart casts with this piece.”
A few days ago Roger and I sat down after a rehearsal to talk about this piece, which we will be collaborating together to perform this week. Roger will be performing the solo piano part – the part originally played by Amadeus himself – and I am playing a reduction of the orchestra’s part on second piano for the first and third movements. The second movement – a slow Larghetto – will be performed by Roger joined by Nashville Symphony musicians Kate Ladner, flute; Jeremy Williams, violin; and Keith Nicholas, cello in a quartet arrangement by Johann Nepomunk Hummel, an Austrian composer and pianist who was a contemporary of Beethoven.
Or, Making Lemonade at the Symphony
When the ice storm hit Nashville in February 2015, schools were closed for more than a week. Two weeks later – at the beginning of March – schools were closed again for a snow storm. As a result, the Nashville Symphony had to cancel three mornings of Young People’s Concerts at Schermerhorn and a run-out concert to a local high school: we missed 7 performances, which would have put the orchestra in front of around 10,000 students total.
When the weather had passed and all the staff were able to get back in the hall at the same time we held a meeting to comb the calendar for the possibility of making up these canceled events – our Young People’s Concerts (YPCs) are the symphony’s flagship education program, an important component in the execution of our education mission. Usually these concerts are scheduled more than a year in advance, due to the difficulty in finding times when the availability of the orchestra, the conductor, scheduled guest artists, the MNPS school calendar, and the hall all line up and allow time not only for performances but rehearsals also. Young People’s Concerts are written into the initial schedule for the orchestra each year for this reason – it’s nearly impossible to find adequate dates and times when all these elements align mid-season.
And so it proved.