Though separated by 130 years and an impossible gulf of personal experience, the composer Ludwig van Beethoven and the writer Langston Hughes share an unlikely bond of artistic sensibilities. Inspiration across mediums creatively energized both: Hughes was a musical historian and produced rhythmically inspired verse, while Beethoven's love of poetry gave rise to numerous immortal compositions, not least “Ode to Joy”. On the date of Hughes's birthday, Terrance McKnight, the project creator and WQXR host, further illuminates these geniuses' synergy with a selection of Beethoven's piano works, and other composers such as David Baker and George Gershwin, that he's set to poems by Hughes. This co-presentation with the New York Philharmonic will feature select members of the Phil and guest artists, piano soloist Kyle P. Walker and the rich operatic tenor voice of Chauncey Packer.
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