Buckle up for Beethoven in Bremerton

Conductor Alan Futterman is the Music Director of the Bremerton Symphony Orchestra. - Courtesy photo
Conductor Alan Futterman is the Music Director of the Bremerton Symphony Orchestra.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Conductor Alan Futterman, the Music Director of the Bremerton Symphony Orchestra, says there is a lot to look forward to in this Saturday’s tribute to Ludwig Van Beethoven.

“I think that the audience will be blown away by the level of playing they will hear this weekend,” Futterman said.

The performance, “Ludwig’s Legacy,” is set to start at 7:30 p.m. this Saturday, March 15, at the Bremerton Performing Arts Center. The all volunteer orchestra will perform the Egmont Overture, the Beethoven Violin Concerto and the Seventh Symphony.

The latter is described by Futterman as some of the first “heavy metal” music.

“The music has driving and relentless rhythms pounding away at the same chords over and over again,” he said. “It had excitement and rhythm in a way that no music had ever had before. It gets maximum energy and maximum sound out of a classical orchestra. It is fearsome and beyond anything Mozart or Haydn or his predecessors had done.”

And don’t let the fact that the symphony is made up of working professionals fool you into thinking the performance will be somehow less than top-notch.

“None of (the orchestra members) are professional musicians, but many of them could be,” Futterman said. “The Bremerton Symphony is an amazing story. With orchestras failing all over the place, Bremerton has maintained an outstanding orchestra since 1942.”

There are lots of teachers, a couple of physicians, various other professionals and the principal bassist is an underwater surveyor.

“That’s got to be unique among orchestras, but here we are in Bremerton and the submarines have got to know where to go,” Futterman said.

For his part, Futterman holds a master’s degree from the Juilliard School of Music with two years of Doctoral studies in Musicology and Baroque Performance Practice. He spent one year pursuing jazz studies and composition at the Berklee School of Music in Boston with Charles Mariano. While still a doctoral candidate, he served as assistant conductor to Maestro Vladimir Kin of St. Petersburg and participated in master classes with Sir George Solti and Leonard Bernstein.

Here is a closer lookup at Saturday’s musical lineup:

• The Egmont Overture commemorates the life of Count Egmont and the war of independence for the people of the Netherlands. Beethoven wrote this rousing and heroic overture to accompany the play by his idol Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

• The Beethoven Violin Concerto is the basis and the template for every great concerto that followed. The themes are simple, powerful and memorable. This will feature superb 16-year-old soloist and Northwest native Lara Lewison, who has already won several competitions and appeared with various orchestras.

• The finale, Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, a work that Beethoven himself singled out as one of his greatest creations, is known for its insistent, driving and exciting rhythm. The second movement of this Symphony is one of the most eloquent and profound statements in any music. It has been a favorite of musicians and audiences since the premier performance, when the Viennese public demanded that it be encored before they would allow the rest of the symphony to proceed.

Individual concert and season subscriptions for the Bremerton Symphony’s 2013-2014 season, which runs until May 2014, are still available. Individual concert tickets are $24 for adults, $19 for senior and military, and $8 for youth and students. Information on concerts and tickets can be found at or by calling 373-1722.

A pre-concert chat with Maestro Alan Futterman will be held in the auditorium at 6:30 p.m. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. and will be held in the Bremerton Performing Arts Center, 1500 13th Street in Bremerton.


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