The Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra will perform this Saturday in the Lowman Concert Hall on campus. Photo courtesy Idyllwild Arts Foundation

Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra to celebrate spring with Beethoven

The Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra’s last concert of the school year will celebrate spring as Beethoven would have wished on Saturday, April 27.

At 7:30 p.m. in the William M. Lowman Concert Hall, the orchestra and its 13 graduating seniors will perform with their younger colleagues and 20 professional guest artists, including eight academy or Idyllwild Arts Summer Program alums. 

Led by Conductor Scott Hosfeld, they’ll play Beethoven’s beloved Sixth Symphony, the Pastoral, opening with a movement designed to inspire the “pleasant feelings which awaken in men when arriving in the countryside.” The Pastoral climaxes by evoking first a storm and then its tranquil aftermath. 

That fifth and final movement of the Pastoral is well suited to the mixed feelings of the orchestra’s seniors. They must soon say goodbye to Idyllwild, but they’re thrilled by the college acceptances and scholarship offers that will let them continue their musical careers. 

The seniors, representing seven different countries, are Jeong Yun Lauren Lee (violin), Alexander Babin (violin), Ashley Leung (violin/viola), Can Olivia Xu (flute), Axel Liden (bassoon), Abreal Whitman (violin), Bryan Ping (cello), Daniela Beck (cello), Giordano Scarano (violin), Dmitrii Tabala (violin), Anastasia Preston (bass), Boyang Leonard Kang (bass) and Zhengnan Eric Wang (violin).

In a few months, these remarkable young musicians will begin studying at some of the world’s most prestigious conservatories, including London’s Royal College of Music, Eastman School of Music, Boston Conservatory at Berklee, New England Conservatory of Music, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University and the USC Thornton School of Music.

But that will be in the fall. The motif for the seniors’ culminating the Idyllwild Arts concert is spring, expressed not only by the Pastoral but by a movement from the contemporary composer Maria Newman’s “Entomology,” an homage to the iconic insect of spring, the bee.

The academy’s Concerto Competition winners will also perform. Violinist Alexander Babin will play the first movement of Prokofiev’s “Concerto #2 in G Minor” and Yifang Demi Rong will play the first movement of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G.

The mountains of Idyllwild make no promise that the end of April means the beginning of spring. But there can hardly be a better way to share the intensity of the longing for spring than by attending this concert by Idyllwild Arts Academy’s student orchestra.    

The event is free and open to the public.