The Minnesota Orchestra is full of creative minds—from the musicians onstage to the administrative staff and volunteers behind the scenes to our passionate board members. Some of us have years of musical training while others come to the orchestra world with fresh ears. We all have programs we’re most excited to share with you for our own personal reasons–and violist Jude Park’s not-to-miss pick is Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1, which will be performed by pianist Garrick Ohlsson and the Minnesota Orchestra April 28-29.
Jude joined the Minnesota Orchestra viola section earlier this season–they grew up in Tampa, Florida in a musical home hearing their mom, a pianist and piano teacher, practice from a very early age. The piece that left the biggest impression on them? Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto.
“According to my mom, I was an unusually easy baby to take care of,” Jude recalls. “One of the reasons is because she hardly had to worry about me when she spent time with the piano. If she was practicing piano or teaching a lesson, I would crawl underneath the piano on my own volition and listen! Since she practiced the Beethoven concertos often, I know all of them quite intimately. But of all five concertos, the first one is most deeply ingrained in my memory to the point that I can sing both the accompanimental or solo parts at any moment.”
Jude’s ties to this work are personal and musical:
“For me, this concerto is a perfect hybrid of Haydn and Mozart that has a hint of Romanticism. Even in just the opening moments of the piano line, you can't help but smile from the infectious youth and curiosity. And while all of the movements could stand alone, I especially love the third movement, which is filled with mischief and joy—the type of pure bliss that makes me feel like I'm on top of the world.”