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Beethoven at 250

The Central Jersey Symphony Orchestra teams up with the Somerset Hills Chorus to celebrate the birthday with works that include the Ninth (Choral) Symphony.

If you visit Symphony Hall in Boston you cannot fail to notice that above the main stage is a trim intended to contain a number of plaques, each dedicated to the memory of a great composer.  When the hall was opened in 1900 only the central plaque had a name on it – Beethoven’s – because he was the only composer whose popularity the founders were certain would endure. To this day, the other plaques remain blank.  Our tribute to music’s greatest genius on Saturday, April 25 features the Central Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the Somerset Hills Chorus, and is built around what is almost certainly Beethoven’s most famous work – the Ninth (or Choral) Symphony, which ends with Schiller’s Ode to Joy, a passionate salute to the Age of Enlightenment.  Beethoven, virtually stone deaf, conducted the first performance, though a second conductor, discreetly placed, was the one from whom the singers and musicians took their time.  The two female soloists (18-year-old Henrietta Sontag and 20-year-old Caroline Unger) would both go on to have great careers.