Featured image photo credit: Zweihundert Bildnisse und Lebensabrisse berühmter deutscher Männer, 3rd ed., Leipzig 1870.



Lititz Moravian Collegium Musicum celebrates Beethoven’s 250th with March 8th concert

To commemorate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, the Lititz Moravian Collegium Musicum (LMCM) will assemble on March 8th to perform his music, including excerpts from Symphony No. 2 and Symphony No. 7, as well as less familiar repertoire by Beethoven’s contemporaries. The first half of the concert provides a musical context to the world in which Beethoven lived and worked. A flute duet by W. A. Mozart (1756-1792) and a clarinet duet by J.F. Grenser (1758-1795) contrast larger orchestral works by F. J. Haydn (1732-1809), one of young Beethoven’s composition teachers; Paul Wranitzky (1732-1809), a Moravian-Czech-Austrian composer highly respected by Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven; and Adalbert Gyrowetz (1763-1850), a Czech-Viennese composer popular at the time and a pallbearer at Beethoven’s funeral in 1827. In contrast to the well-known works by Beethoven, the other works presented are rarely, if ever, heard, yet are fascinating, fresh, and delightful. How amazing to imagine early Lititzians bringing this repertoire to our young country – these innovative and sophisticated works composed by and for the most famous musicians in Europe at the time – and performing them in the distant land of south central Pennsylvania!

A Moment of Sharing from the Lititz Moravian Archives and Museum will feature a “show and tell” of the John Antes viola and cello, both highly significant and rare 18th-century early American instruments. In addition, the Lititz Congregation Museum/Archives and Mission Gift Shop will be open for visitors after the concert.

This will be the fourth concert of the newly organized LMCM, which was originally founded in the 1760s to provide an opportunity for accomplished musicians to rehearse and perform for practice, entertainment, and enlightenment. Colonial-period amateur musicians strengthened their skills in order to perform the intricate repertoire regularly used in worship services, and were the core of what would become the Lititz Philharmonic Society in the 19th century. The new LMCM performed its inaugural concert in September 2018 and was hailed by LNP as one of Lancaster County’s “Top Ten Musical Moments” of the year. The motto history you can hear! is reflected in the purpose of this professional chamber orchestra and their mission to perform newly edited scores of the church’s repertoire preserved in the vaults of the Moravian Music Foundation. The historic 1787 Tannenberg organ will be featured as a solo instrument and to accompany hymns by Haydn and Beethoven.

The concert begins at 7:00 p.m. and tickets are $15 for adults, $5 with student I.D. (cash only at the door). More information can be found on the church website (lititzmoravian.org) or at gemmell-posts.com.

LMCM SPONSORS NEEDED! Would you like to invest in the Lititz Moravian Collegium Musicum? Since this organization resides outside of the congregation’s regular music ministry, our existence and ability to sustain the professionalism and quality of our work depends upon your generosity and support. Tax-deductible contributions of any amount are appreciated and may be mailed to:

Lititz Moravian Congregation

Attn: Lititz Moravian Collegium Musicum (LMCM)

8 Church Square

Lititz, PA 17543

Please make checks payable to LMCM. Sponsors are listed in the printed program alphabetically, along with an optional memorial listing, e.g., “John M. Candy, in memory of Sally Smithers.” Business sponsorships are also available. Questions? Contact Dr. Gemmell at jeff@lititzmoravian.org or call 717-626-8515