Beethoven's ‘Eroica’ depicts heroic funeral march

Caroline Goulding

Caroline Goulding

Beethoven first dedicated his “Sinfonia Eroica,” or “Heroic Symphony,” to Napoleon Bonaparte, whom he held in high esteem – until Napoleon declared himself emperor of France. Beethoven thought the new leader would become a tyrant and trample the rights of man underfoot. He instead dedicated the monumental work to his patron, Prince Joseph Lobkowitz.

The Phoenix Symphony performs the rigorous Symphony No. 3, as well as Gyorgy Ligeti’s Violin Concerto, under the direction of Tito Munoz at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 12, at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center.

The symphony’s famous second movement, the marcia funebre or funeral march, has been performed at numerous memorial services and commemorations, including Felix Mendelssohn, Franklin Roosevelt, Arturo Toscanini, and John F. Kennedy.

Grammy-nominated violinist Caroline Goulding is showcased in Ligeti’s concerto. The original composition premiered in 1990, but the composer revised it several times.

Known as an innovative, avant-garde and influential composer, Ligeti (1923-2006) mixed traditional Hungarian folk melodies and dance rhythms in the five-movement piece. Excerpts from four of his pieces can be found in the soundtrack to “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Goulding, 29, was nominated for a Grammy when she was 16 years old. She has just released a new album of chamber music. She has performed and soloed with symphonies all over the United States and Europe.

Conductor Tito Munoz made his conducting debut in 2006 with the National Symphony Orchestra. He was appointed the Virginia G. Piper Music Director of the Phoenix Symphony in 2014 after two seasons as guest conductor.

Tickets are available only from Yavapai Symphony Association at 928-776-4255 or at the office, 228 N. Alarcon St. Hours are 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and closed Friday-Sunday, except the Friday before the concert. Tickets range from $28 to $37. Full-time college students pay $10.

A pre-concert lecture about the performance starts at 2 p.m.

The Yavapai Symphony offers limited complimentary tickets to one elementary or secondary student (age 10 or older) accompanied by an adult (orchestra seating in Row A).