fullscreen background
Skip to main content

Spring Quarter

Spring Quarter Underway
Late-Start Classes
Still Available
shopping cart icon0


« Back to Events Calendar

Seventeen Minutes That Changed Music History: Beethoven’s Great Fugue

EVT 596
May 17
7:30 pm
Status: No Registration Required
Near the end of his life, Ludwig van Beethoven composed some of his most personal and original music. The Grosse Fuge (or “Great Fugue”), originally planned as the final movement to his opus 132 string quartet, was an almost-crazy experiment in dissonance and disruption by the completely deaf composer. Called “repellent” and “incomprehensible” by his peers, Igor Stravinsky conversely considered it “an absolutely contemporary piece of music that will be contemporary forever." Please join us as music director Ben Simon leads members of the award-winning youth orchestra Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra in a performance of the fugue, preceded by a guided tour of the work with live musical examples provided by PACO.

Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra (PACO)

The Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra is a youth orchestra for regional string musicians of high-school age and younger. PACO’s five ensembles—SuperStrings, Preparatory, Debut, Sinfonia, and Senior PACO—have approximately twenty-five members each. They rehearse weekly and perform throughout the year, presenting an extraordinary level of music-making and commitment to their art. The emphasis on chamber music uniquely sets PACO apart from other youth orchestras in the Bay Area and the nation, and lies at the core of its educational success.

Benjamin Simon, Music Director, Palo Alto Chamber Orchestras

Ben Simon has been teaching Continuing Studies music courses since 1996. He has organized popular special events featuring the music of Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Bartók, Mozart, Schubert, Bernstein, and Mendelssohn. He is also the music director of the professional San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. He was a member of the Stanford String Quartet (1994–98) and is also on the music faculty at UC Berkeley.
View Map Location:
Event Map