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Valley Public Radio and Partners To Present Series Celebrating Beethoven's 250th Birthday


Valley Public Radio, in partnership with the Fresno Philharmonic and the Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concert series will air a new special series celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest composers of all time. The program will feature archival performances drawn from both institution’s recorded concerts, and will be hosted by Valley Public Radio’s David Aus, with Fresno Philharmonic Music Director Rei Hotoda and special guests providing discussion and commentary.

Beethoven: Crisis and Creativity will air Wednesday nights at 8:00 p.m. beginning September 30th.

“More than just a celebration of music,” says David Aus, “in this series we will focus on Beethoven’s creativity during times of crisis.”  Beyond being a brilliant pianist and composer, Beethoven was both a political and aesthetic revolutionary. In response to the crisis of our present situation both nationally and globally -- including the coronavirus pandemic and protests for racial justice -- we will explore how Beethoven, navigated similar issues through his music with broad strokes into his life, his work, and his world. “Special guest artists will give us a deeper understanding of Beethoven and also a perspective on how artists today confront challenges.”

Rei Hotoda finds particular inspiration in Beethoven. “Music is for me a spiritual power,” she says. “Beethoven’s music has the ability to transform and enlighten one’s soul. With any tragedy in my life, with any moment of the deepest darkest times, his music conquers my fears and gives me the power of hope.”