Then & Now 8/9: Beethoven
On this date in 1781, Austrian composer, violinist, and conductor Michael Umlauff, was born in Vienna. He conducted the premiere of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony on May 7, 1824. After the totally deaf Beethoven set the initial tempos for each movement, the performers were instructed to ignore Beethoven if he continued to beat time, and to follow Umlauf. And as the famous story goes, the musicians did just that. And when the symphony had finished, Beethoven was still conducting the music in his head, and they had to turn him around so he could see the audience offering their thunderous applause.
There’ll be plenty of Beethoven from our own local orchestras upcoming season. While the 9th isn’t on the schedule, both the Sarasota and Florida Orchestra’s will play the beautiful Symphony No. 6, the famous pastoral symphony. Also, the Florida Orchestra will welcome back to town Jaja Ling to conduct the Piano Concerto No. 1, and the season will also feature the 1st and 7th Symphony’s.