Two performances of one of the most beloved classical works of all time — “Beethoven’s 5th Symphony” — will be presented at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 28, and at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 30. Both performances will be led by PSO Music Director Eckart Preu and feature special guest Camille Thomas on violoncello. A pre-concert conversation with the artists will be held for ticket holders an hour before each concert.

The program features a collection of works composed in response to challenge, both internal and external, revealing the beauty that can come from moments of conflict.

Leading up to Beethoven’s 5th, which will conclude the concerts, are Mykola Lysenko’s “Overture to Taras Bulba,” Valentin Silvestrov’s “The Messenger” and Fazil Say’s “Never Give Up.” “Taras Bulba” is an opera, and tells the tale of Poland’s attempts to take over Ukraine in the 17th century; “The Messenger” was written following the composer Silvestrov’s wife’s sudden death, and is based on the writings of the existential philosopher Yakov Druskin. The “messenger” is a fictional character who represents a link between this world and the world beyond. “Never Give Up” was composed in response to a series of terrorist attacks in Europe and Turkey from 2015-2017. Composer Say said, “When writing this concerto amid all this turbulence, I was determined to show resilience that we will never give up – and that there will always be hope for a beautiful and peaceful world.” Beethoven’s 5th was written as Beethoven was grappling with his hearing loss. Its famous sound begins with a feeling of unease before moving to a triumphant resolution.

Guest artist Camille Thomas performs on the famous “Feuermann” Stradivarius 1730, on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.

Tickets are available through PortTIX at 207-842-0800,, and in person at the PortTIX box office, Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The Portland Symphony Orchestra performs at Merrill Auditorium located at 20 Myrtle St., Portland. For more information, visit

Comments are no longer available on this story