Steamboat Symphony Orchestra welcomes community to variety of events
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Birds are chirping, roof snow is dripping away, and the warming air carries notes of a spring soundtrack. The Steamboat Symphony Orchestra is welcoming spring to the Yampa Valley with a variety of events for the community.
Beethoven & Brews Happy Hour at Storm Peak Brewing Co.
On Friday, March 29, several orchestra musicians will play a Beethoven & Brews Happy Hour at Storm Peak Brewing Co.
The musicians will play several pieces, or about 20 minutes, of their repertoire, a preview of their upcoming full-length concert.
“We’ve played in a lot of crazy places, but I’m not sure we’ve played at a brewery before,” said the orchestra’s President of the Board of Directors Barbara Winternitz.
“We want to try and get younger folks in town excited about what the orchestra has to offer,” Winternitz said.
“The first time I saw the symphony was in Denver a few years ago and instantly fell in love,” said Storm Peak co-owner Zach Patterson. “The harmony they are able to achieve is incredible.”
Happy hour attendees will also receive a discount code for $10 off tickets to the Beethoven’s Triumph concert April 6 and 7.
Steamboat Symphony Orchestra Spring Concert: Beethoven’s Triumph
“The 5th is the famous ‘ba ba ba ba” symphony,” said the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra Music Director Ernest Richardson. “What I love about this is when Beethoven was writing this, he’d already gone completely deaf. He could hear it in his imagination, but he was scared that if anyone discovered that he was deaf, they wouldn’t take him seriously as a composer.
“When you hear those first few notes, you can imagine he’s banging on the piano, trying to hear the notes himself.”
Beethoven was sick and in physical and emotional pain for most of his life, Richardson notes, so for his music to be generally dark and somber would be reasonable — but it’s not.
Beethoven & Brews happy hour
When: 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 29 (musicians play at 6:30 p.m.)
Where: Storm Peak Brewing Co., 1885 Elk River Plaza
Beethoven’s Triumph featuring Manuel Ramos
When: 7 p.m. April 6 and 7
Where: Strings Pavilion, 900 Strings Road
Tickets: Tickets are $10 to $65 and available at steamboatorchestra.org and stringsmusicfestival.com
Beethoven’s Triumph is the orchestra’s annual spring concert, which features Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.
“He finds a way to find meaning and joy beyond the physicality of life,” Richardson said.
“The overture asks, ‘Is there meaning in life?’” said Richardson. “And the second two pieces answer, ‘Yes, there is.’”
The arc of the symphony starts in grief, sadness and dismay at Beethoven’s fate, in C minor, and ends in complete joy, in C major.
“I love taking people on this journey. It’s our own journey,” Richardson said.
The Concerto features a solo by violinist Manuel Ramos. Ramos has been playing and teaching violin at the Rocky Mountain Summer Conservatory in Steamboat Springs for 25 years, but this will be his first time playing with the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra.
“Most people consider this piece to be one of the most difficult, greatest pieces written for the violin,” Richardson said. “Manuel is uniquely gifted. He’s of the caliber of violinists who can make this piece sing.”
“Manuel is an amazing, amazing violinist,” Winternitz said. “Listening to him play Beethoven is going to be an experience that I hope everybody takes advantage of.”
“Because of the way Beethoven composed this piece, it gives us a chance to show the musicality,” Ramos said. “It’s so lyrical.”
Ramos is one of Mexico’s best-known, most active musicians. He has been featured in orchestras, as concertmaster, and as a master class teacher across the U.S., Mexico and South America. He’s also a sixth-generation musician in his family, and father of three musicians.
“The audience in Steamboat is very knowledgeable and nice to play for,” Ramos said. “I always look forward to coming to Strings.”
Many of the other musicians in the symphony are local, but some also are coming from the Front Range, Idaho and Utah who’ve lived in Steamboat in the past.
“It’s fun for everybody to get back together and start creating music again,” Winternitz said. “It’s a really inspirational time.”
Tickets are $10 to $65 and available at steamboatorchestra.org and stringsmusicfestival.com. Attendees of the Beethoven’s Triumph concert may bring their ticket stub to Storm Peak to get $1 beers through April 14.
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