Kim

Kim

Beethoven, Ravel and some "Unfinished" business from Schubert are on the weekend's program for the Willamette Valley Symphony. 

The Saturday and Sunday concerts in Corvallis also bring a pair of guests: Mark Stanek of Corban University will be the guest conductor, one of the finalists for the symphony's open music director job. 

And Corvallis pianist Sunghee Kim will join the symphony to perform the concert's centerpiece, Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3.

Jaclyn LaRue, the symphony's executive director, said Kim brings impeccable credentials to the task: Kim completed her music education in Germany and has performed in Korea, Spain, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. 

"It's just interesting to have an artist of that stature living in this community," LaRue said. Kim will bring "the clarity and light touch and expressiveness that's really required" for the Beethoven piece, one of his earlier works.

The program's finale is Schubert's Symphony No. 8, dubbed the "Unfinished" because it only has two movements. There are various theories as why the work was unfinished, but LaRue isn't entirely joking when she suggests that perhaps Schubert thought it was perfect with just two movements.

LaRue added that it's a piece that the orchestra enjoys performing. "The audience will be able to tell that the orchestra has a deep connection with this piece," she said.

The program's opening number, Ravel's "Valses nobles et sentimentales," drew inspiration from another work by Schubert that bore the same title, "Noble and Sentimental Waltzes." So Ravel's work offers a bit of Schubert's style, "but with all the complexities of tonality that Ravel was known for," LaRue said. 

The orchestra wraps up its season with a pair of performances on June 8 and 9, and should have an announcement by the end of July about which one of the guest conductors will assume the role on a permanent basis, LaRue said.

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