Santa Maria Philharmonic Society celebrates Beethoven’s 250th birthday all year

Santa Maria Philharmonic Society celebrates Beethoven’s 250th birthday all year

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Bassists from the Santa Maria Philharmonic play in front of images of space Wednesday at the Pacific Christian Center in Santa Maria.

Kicking off a year-long celebration in honor of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, the Santa Maria Philharmonic Society will present special concert "Spirited Symphonies: Es muss sein", featuring Symphony No. 8 as the evening centerpiece.

The event will be held on Saturday, Feb. 29 at 7:30 p.m. at Grace Baptist Church in Santa Maria. 

Written the same year as the infamous and heart-breaking letter to his ‘Immortal Beloved,’ which is full of doom and self-pity, Symphony No. 8 ‘Es muss sein’, meaning ‘It must be’, is said to be full of high-spirits and merriment. Beethoven’s determination and optimism are present in this work.

The program will also offer works by Mozart and Bartók.

Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertant will showcase music of Concertmaster Mary Beth Woodruff, and guest violist Andrew Duckles. 

One of Bartók’s most popular works ‘Romanian Folk Dances’ to be highlighted, is based on instrumental melodies the musician heard and recorded while doing fieldwork in Transylvania – once part of Hungary and annexed to Romania in 1920. The often haunting Romanian folk melodies represent authentic folk music. 

General admission is $45 with preferred seating. Military, senior and student discounts are available. Special group rate tickets at the door are $60.

To purchase tickets online, visit To learn more about Philharmonic programs and to contribute, visit our website

Lisa André covers Valley Life for Santa Ynez Valley News. 


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