Václav Luks Leads the Handel and Haydn Orchestra in Beethoven’s Eighth

(Boston) Esteemed Czech conductor Václav Luks returns to Boston to lead the H+H Orchestra in a rousing Beethoven symphony. Luks Leads Beethoven features a pair of works from Beethoven and an H+H premiere from Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel, sister of famed composer Felix Mendelssohn, at Symphony Hall October 27 + 29, 2023. Tickets are available now at HandelandHaydn.org.

Luks Leads Beethoven will begin with Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel’s Overture in C Major. Fanny was a piano prodigy, but never got a chance to work professionally in music due to social pressures and attitudes of her time. She advised her brother Felix throughout his life and even wrote several pieces that he published under his own name. Written in 1832, the Overture is her only purely orchestral work and remained unpublished during her lifetime. The beautifully structured piece builds off a slow introduction before expertly blending horns and strings, increasing the excitement before a stunning finale. This will be the first time H+H performs the work.

World renowned fortepiano specialist Lukáš Vondráček will then make his H+H debut in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3. First performed by Beethoven himself in 1803, this work will give Vondráček room to demonstrate why he is one of the most in-demand fortepiano experts performing today. Luks Leads Beethoven will conclude with Beethoven’s effervescent Eighth, which he called “my little Symphony in F.”  Luks expertly guides H+H through this light-hearted work full of joy in a performance that is not to be missed.

“This is Beethoven as it was meant to be heard, on a fortepiano performed by a world-class musician,” said David Snead, Philip and Marjorie Gerdine President and CEO of the Handel and Haydn Society. “A true treat for our audience as Luks transforms the works of Beethoven, breathing new life into them for our modern ears.”

Conductor Václav Luks is founder and artistic director of the Prague baroque orchestra Collegium 1704 and of the vocal ensemble Collegium Vocale 1704. He made his Handel and Haydn Society debut during the 2021-22 season with a program that included Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony and has become a frequent collaborator leading the H+H Chorus and Orchestra in memorable performances of Beethoven’s Eroica and Handel’s Messiah.

At the age of four Lukáš Vondráček made his first public concert appearance, and by ten, embarked on his first international tour. As a fifteen-year-old in 2002, he made his debut with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Ashkenazy which was followed by a major US tour in 2003. His natural and assured musicality and remarkable technique have long marked him as a gifted and mature musician. He has achieved worldwide recognition receiving many international awards, foremost the Grand Prix at the 2016 Concours Reine Elisabeth in Brussels alongside first prizes at the Hilton Head and San Marino International Piano Competitions and Unisa International Piano Competition in Pretoria, South Africa, as well as the Raymond E. Buck Jury Discretionary Award at the 2009 International Van Cliburn Piano Competition.

Vondráček is one of the most in demand keyboard soloists in the classical world. He just wrapped up engagements with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lille, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra.

The 2023-24 Season 

Israel in Egypt                   Oct 6 + 8, 2023                 Symphony Hall

Luks Leads Beethoven      Oct 27 + 29, 2023              Symphony Hall

Handel’s Messiah              Nov 24 + 25 + 26, 2023     Symphony Hall

Baroque Christmas            Dec 14 + 17, 2023             NEC’s Jordan Hall

The British Masters           Feb 2 + 4, 2024                 NEC’s Jordan Hall

Harry, Haydn + Mozart      Feb 23 + 25, 2024             Symphony Hall

Beethoven 9                     Mar 15 + 16, 2024             Symphony Hall

Bach + Telemann              Mar 22 + 24, 2024             NEC’s Jordan Hall

Bach B Minor Mass           Apr 5 + 7, 2024                 Symphony Hall

Brahms Requiem              Apr 19 + 21, 2024              Symphony Hall

Brandenburg Concertos     May 2 + 3 + 4, 2024          Sanders Theatre & NEC’s Jordan Hall

Individual tickets and subscription packages from 3 to 11 concerts are now available with access to the best seats at great savings and may be purchased by calling 617-262.1815 or visiting www.handelandhaydn.org.

About the Handel and Haydn Society

Boston’s Grammy-winning Handel and Haydn Society is dedicated to performing Baroque and Classical music with a freshness, a vitality, and a creativity that inspires all ages. H+H has been captivating audiences for 209 consecutive seasons (the most of any performing arts organization in the United States). Today, H+H’s Orchestra and Chorus delight more than 50,000 listeners annually with a nine-week subscription series at Boston Symphony Hall and other leading venues. Through the Karen S. and George D. Levy Education Program, H+H supports seven youth choirs of singers in grades 2-12 and provides thousands of complimentary tickets to students and communities throughout Boston, ensuring the joy of music is accessible to all. H+H’s numerous free community concerts include an annual commemoration of the original 1863 Emancipation Proclamation concert on December 31. H+H has released 16 CDs on the Coro label and has toured nationally and internationally. In all these ways, H+H fulfills its mission to inspire the intellect, touch the heart, elevate the soul, and connect us with our shared humanity through transformative experiences with Baroque and Classical music.

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