Gateway Chamber Beethoven

The Gateway Chamber Orchestra, which had regularly performed at the Franklin Theatre until the coronavirus pandemic ended live shows for the time being, will be presenting a free streaming online musical event celebrating composer Ludwig van Beethoven's 250th birthday.

[email protected]: Humanity in 2020, the virtual concert recorded in Mabry Concert Hall on the campus of Austin Peay State Universitywill livestream Wednesday, Dec. 16, at 7:30 p.m. The event also honors the works of two groundbreaking composers in classical music: George Walker, the first African American composer to win the Pulitzer Prize, and Jessie Montgomery, one of the most energetic and inspiring interpreters of the American ethos. 

The performance is a fitting soundtrack to a momentous year, according to a press release sent from the GCO. From the centennial anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment to the rise of the pandemic to the outcry for social justice, 2020 has made a distinctive mark on humanity. 

The GCO captures this sentiment in an evening of moving performances that embody "tragedy to triumph," a theme made famous by classical music's most revolutionary composer.

[email protected]: Humanity in 2020 is the first virtual concert to be performed and streamed on YouTube by GCO. The team determined if they social distanced and followed guidelines on safety for wind instruments they would be able to stage a program that could be streamed. 

As GCO conductor Gregory Wolynec explains, the program attempts to look at [email protected] through a 2020 lens. The program opens with Beethoven's dramatic and fiery "Coriolan Overture" which leads to a beautiful, noble second theme. It was written for a tragedy and instead of a heroic ending there is a pause followed by a very 

"This is a concert with a unique perspective allowing us to tackle more overlooked and contemporary works as well," GCO Conductor Gregory Wolynecsaid. "Celebrating Beethoven within the context of such a tumultuous 2020 felt like the responsible way to handle the dramatically changed world that we now find ourselves in. 

“We hope to provide something thoughtful and uplifting to our established audience while also introducing our talented musicians to a broader audience."

Register on Eventbrite to watch [email protected]: Humanity in 2020, a free virtual concert to be streamed on YouTube. It is recommended to watch the performance in a home theater environment with the best speakers available. The GCO encourages families to host a virtual watch party and celebrate Beethoven by submitting photos to its Facebook page using the hashtag #beethoven250.