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Beethoven & Blue Jeans

November 9 @ 7:30 pm - November 10 @ 2:30 pm

Our annual Beethoven and Blue Jeans performance explodes into action with Jessie Montgomery’s Starburst, a dynamic and effervescent work that radiates with shimmering textures and rhythmic vitality. Montgomery’s composition unfolds in bursts of energy and lyricism, creating celestial fireworks in a symphonic setting. Next we delve into Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 94 (“Surprise”), a masterpiece of classical form and high-spirited wit, never before performed at the Mobile Symphony.

Finally we bring out not one, not two, but three soloists to perform Ludwig van Beethoven’s rarely-performed Triple Concerto with the orchestra. Violinist Benjamin Baker, cellist James Baik, and pianist Chaeyoung Park weave their intricate dialogues together with the grandeur of the MSO. From the lyrical exchanges of the opening Allegro to the spirited dance of the Rondo alla Polacca, the concerto presents one delight after another.


Scott Speck, conductor
Benjamin Baker, violin
James Baik, cello
Chaeyoung Park, piano



Jessie Montgomery: Starburst

Joseph Haydn: Symphony no. 94 “Surprise” 

Ludwig van Beethoven: Triple Concerto (Benjamin Baker, violin, James Baik, cello, Chaeyoung Park, piano



“Surprise is the common thread in our BBJ concert this year! Of course, Joseph Haydn’s Symphony no. 94 is known for the explosive fortissimo chord that would have awakened anyone dozing in the audience at its London premiere, eliciting cries of “Bravo!” and “Encore!” But all four movements of the symphony contain surprises. Abrupt fortes and pianos, long pauses, sudden changes of tempo, silent moments where the bottom seems to drop out — all of these create an atmosphere where you never know what’s coming next. When I first conducted this piece, in my first ever concert as a student conductor in college, the tempo itself was a surprise — it was the speed at which my baton was shaking.

Surprises abound as well in Jessie Montgomery’s exuberant work Starburst, from its explosive opening chords to its dramatic ending crescendo. Jessie Montgomery’s music is characterized by vibrant eclecticism and dynamic energy. She seamlessly blends elements of classical music with jazz, folk, and contemporary influences. An active violinist herself, she explores all that the string section can do. If you’re unfamiliar with her music, this short and astonishing piece is a wonderful introduction.

Beethoven’s Triple Concerto may hold the biggest surprises of all. First of all, what kind of concerto features three soloists instead of one? Beethoven’s decision to integrate piano, violin and cello into the same concerto was a total innovation for its time. Secondly, he constantly switches between the majestic, rich texture of a full orchestra and the intimate chamber music performed by the trio, in a way that always keeps us guessing. Thirdly, he surprises us by connecting one movement directly into the next. This is a work — in fact, this is a concert — where you never know what’s coming next.”  – Scott Speck


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November 9 @ 7:30 pm
November 10 @ 2:30 pm


Saenger Theatre
6 South Joachim Street
Mobile, AL 36602 United States
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Mobile Symphony