It’s become a Princeton tradition among classical music enthusiasts — musician, philanthropist, and humanitarian William H. Scheide’s annual birthday concert at Richardson Auditorium. Each year, Scheide and his wife, Judy, fly a European orchestra or ensemble over just for the concert and toss in some amazing special guests. Scheide’s favorite conductor, Mark Laycock, takes the podium. The concert always benefits a nonprofit or other charitable organization, and this year’s concert on Friday, January 27, benefits Princeton Public Library.
Titled “Booked for the Evening,” the concert features the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, joined by world-renowned violinist Jaime Laredo, cellist Sharon Robinson, and America’s preeminent Russian vocal ensemble, the Russian Chamber Chorus of New York.
The program includes Mozart’s Overture to the Marriage of Figaro, K. 492; Brahms’s Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor, Op. 102 (“Double”); Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92; and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, a special birthday version, arranged by conductor Laycock.
Added just this week: the world premier of a recently discovered, untitled Johannes Brahms piece, “Albumblatt (in German, literally, an ‘album page’) in A Minor.” The one-page composition, which bears the tempo marking “Allegro con espressione,” lasts approximately two minutes. According to a press statement, “Circumstantial evidence suggests that it was during a visit to Gottingen, Germany, in 1853, that the then 20-year-old Brahms entered this exquisite miniature into the autograph album of Arnold Wehner, the director of music at the University of Gottingen from 1846 to 1855. This album is now in the collection of Judith M. and William H. Scheide.”
As of press time, only a few seats were left in the balcony. Call Princeton University Ticketing at 609-258-9220.