MOZART AND HAYDN The Father of the Symphony
MOZART AND HAYDN          The Father of the Symphony

On November 2 and 3, Pro Musica presents Mozart and Haydn in the Lensic, featuring pianist Anne-Marie McDermott conducting the Orchestra from the keyboard in two of his piano concertos, nos. 14 and 22. The concert opens with Haydn’s Symphony No. 90, conducted by Music Director Thomas O’Connor.

Meet Haydn (1732-1809), the Father of the Symphony

The symphony as a musical form first appears in the 1600s in Italy as the instrumental music that precedes an opera. During this period it was more often called a sinfonia. The sinfonia’s function was as a “curtain raiser,” and sometimes called a “noise killer.” In 17th century Europe, audiences at performances were often well supplied with food and drink, and loudly socializing with friends. The musicians needed an effective way to get the audience’s attention, hence the need for some explosive music to kill the noise.

These sinfonias were usually in 3 sections. The first section is the noise killer, it needed to be fast, brilliant, full of surprises, and designed to get your attention. Once the audience had quieted down, a section of slower music was performed, giving the audience a hint of what might be coming in the opera. Then the work would conclude with a sprightly fast movement.

Considering Haydn was born 18 years before the death of J. S. Bach, lived through the life of Mozart, and died when Beethoven was 38 years old (having already finished his first 3 revolutionary symphonies), plus being employed full-time by the noble Esterházy family, and living a long life (77 years), Haydn had the priviledge of much time and many influences in developing his art.

Over the course of his long life, Haydn wrote 104 symphonies with ever increasing complexity, length, emotional expressiveness, and seriousness of purpose (but not ruling out sense of humor, one can be seriously funny). He was not the first to write a symphony, but he was one of the most influential. He took the simple 3-part sinfonia from being a 6-7 minute curtain raiser and turned it into an expansive 20-30 minute instrumental monument that stands on its own.

On our November 2 and 3 concerts, you will hear Haydn’s Symphony No. 90. This work was commissioned in 1788 by the Parisian aristocrat Comte d’Ogny (1757-1790) for performance in the French capital. As befitting the glorious city of Paris, Haydn’s Symphony No. 90 is noble and festive with trumpets and drums. The oboe and flute provide contrast with delicate tracery and lyrical outpourings. But watch out for the mischievous wit of Haydn as he delighted in using musical tricks to surprise and throw his listeners off guard!

Meet the Music

To learn more about the music, join us one hour before each Pro Musica Lensic concert and hear informative conversations with Music Director Tom O’Connor and the guest artists. Free to ticket holders.


505.988.4640 |


Orchestra Series II

Mozart and Haydn

Lensic Performing Arts Center

Saturday, November 2 at 4 PM

Sunday, November 3 at 3 PM


Pro Musica Orchestra

Thomas O’Connor, conductor

Anne-Marie McDermott, piano and conductor


HAYDN Symphony No. 90 in C Major, Hob. I:90     

MOZART Piano Concerto No. 14 in E-Flat Major, K. 449

MOZART Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-Flat Major, K. 482


Look for our next newsletter to learn about our popular December offerings.

Subscriptions and discounts available exclusively through the Pro Musica Box Office.

Tickets range from $20-$100.

Pro Musica Box Office

505.988.4640 |


Lensic Community Box Office

505.988.1234 |



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