GREAT PERFORMANCES: NOW HEAR THIS: Beethoven's Ghost
Premieres Friday, Oct. 29, 2021 at 9 p.m. and Sunday, Oct, 31 at 2 p.m. on KPBS 2 / On Demand
GREAT PERFORMANCES: NOW HEAR THIS takes a dramatic approach to interpreting the complex musical mind of composer Ludwig van Beethoven, who wrote nearly 800 works in 45 years. Host and violinist Scott Yoo and his team of fellow musicians, including Anna Polonsky (piano), Bion Tsang (cello), Toby Appel (viola) and Emily Daggett Smith (second violin), visit a historic manor in the Berkshires to better understand Beethoven by performing and recording some of his most personal work, including his famous “Ghost Trio.”
Unbeknownst to them, they’ve summoned the ghost of the composer, trailed by the spirit of Sigmund Freud who attempts to analyze him. Interweaving documentary, performance and theatrical storytelling, this haunting special episode explores the mind of the composer through dramatized conversations between the spirits of Beethoven and Freud.
The episode is part of #PBSForTheArts, a multiplatform campaign that celebrates the arts in America. For more than 50 years, PBS has been the media destination for the arts, presenting dance, theater, opera, visual arts and concerts to Americans in every corner of the country.
NOW HEAR THIS Overview:
Premiering in 2019, documentary miniseries GREAT PERFORMANCES: NOW HEAR THIS merges music, storytelling, travel and culture as host Scott Yoo chases the secret lives and histories of some of the greatest musicians and compositions ever written. Series 1 features baroque era composers Vivaldi, Bach, Scarlatti and Handel. Series 2 features Classical era composers Haydn, Schubert, Mozart and Beethoven. Series 3 is slated to premiere spring 2022 on PBS.
Yoo is the Chief Conductor of the Mexico City Philharmonic, Music Director of Festival Mozaic, Conductor of the Colorado College Music Festival, and the Founder of the Medellín Festicámara, a chamber music and social program in Colombia. He has conducted the London Symphony, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Yomiuri Nippon Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony and San Francisco Symphony, among many others.
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Created by producer, writer and director Harry Lynch and is a production of Arcos Film + Music. Harry Lynch, Scott Yoo and Richard Lim are executive producers. GREAT PERFORMANCES is produced by The WNET Group. Bill O’Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer.