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UT Students to Perform Beethoven Concert at Tennessee Theatre Feb. 24

KNOXVILLE -- For the first time, a student-only group from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will perform Beethoven's masterpiece Symphony No. 9 in D Minor. The performance will take place in a Feb. 24 concert at the Tennessee Theatre in downtown Knoxville.

The public is invited to the free concert, which will begin at 7:30 p.m.

The event will feature a 70-piece orchestra and more than 150 singers on stage—members of the Chamber Singers, the Concert Choir, the Men's Chorale, the Women's Chorale and the Symphony Orchestra -- all students from the UT School of Music.

"In the past, faculty and professional musicians would be needed to help a university-level ensemble attempt a work like Beethoven's Ninth," said James Fellenbaum, UT director of orchestras, who will conduct the concert. "Today, UT has many talented students who are more than capable of performing the vocal solo, orchestral and choral parts."

Symphony No. 9 was a revolutionary piece that changed the face of classical music, Fellenbaum said. Before Beethoven, no one had used a chorus and vocal soloists in a symphony before.

"The Ninth Symphony is just as challenging to play today," he said. "It is a big undertaking for any program—professional or university-level—to perform."

Some of the work is well known to the public.

"Music from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony is often used to underscore a moment of triumph or joy in a lot of different media, like TV, movies and radio," Fellenbaum said. "For example, the trailer for the new 'Die Hard' movie uses parts of the symphony's final movement."

Published February 22, 2013

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