Season 75: First Concert release
THE STRUGGLES OF BEETHOVEN
Available November 14, 2020 through April 25, 2021
In early September, 2020, a new chapter opened for the Greater Bridgeport Symphony, as Eric Jacobsen and three principal members of the orchestra met in a studio in Hudson, New York to record the season premiere installment of of GBS' first-ever eSubscription series.
The Covid pandemic changed the entire landscape of live music. In April 2020, the magnitude of the crisis made it apparent to GBS management that live concerts would probably not happen for a long while. A bold decision was made to create an entire season online. After 74 years of bringing live music to Bridgeport, GBS now committed to a season of great music with no audience. How to accomplish this? Unknown! But, working closely with Eric and several of his contacts, and with a local Emmy-winning producer, Frank Borres of American View Productions, GBS put the pieces together. After six months of intensive planning - and with due attention to the financial risks of this radically new program -the first eSubscription video the Struggles of Beethoven was released to subscribers on November 14, 2020 - the night originally planned for GBS' second concert of the 2020-21 season. Response was universally positive.
Eric led concertmaster Deborah Wong, violist Arthur Moeller, and violinist Chiu-Chen Liu in a dramatic rendition of Beethoven's String Quartet No. 4, Opus 18, then performed three of the eight Duets for Violin and Cello, Opus 39 with Debbie Wong.
Beethoven's stirring music, performed on the eve of his 250th birthday, captures that dramatic moment in Beethoven's life when he realized that he was going deaf. Beethoven persevered - as must we all to come through the Covid crisis stronger than before.
This first installment of the 75th season began small due to Covid concerns, but even as it was being recorded, plans were underway for more ambitious concerts, with a complement of musicians as large as a stage could safely hold.