Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart may have lived for only 35 years, but he was one of the most prolific composers the classical music world has ever seen. The Houston Symphony performs two of his symphonies from two very different stages of his life. The program will open with Mozart's Symphony No. 19, composed in 1772 when he was only 16 years old, and finish with his Symphony No. 40, composed in 1788, just three years before his death in 1791. These two works have divergent characters and tones that mirror Mozart's emotional state while he was composing these symphonies. No. 19 is in E-flat Major and displays a light, youthful and poised tone. No. 40, in contrast, is in G Minor and was written while Mozart was practically starving to death. Despite his popularity and success, at this time Mozart was barely earning enough money to feed himself. This piece evokes a more tragic, heavy and mature feeling, with many referring to it as the ''Great G Minor symphony.'' Also on the program will be John Adams's 1985 work The Chairman Dances, inspired by President Nixon’s visit to Chairman Mao in China, and Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto in D, performed by 22-year old Russian violinist Eugene Ugorski. 8 p.m. Thursday. Sugar Land Baptist Church, 16755 Southwest Freeway.
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7:30 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. $29 to $121.
May 3-5, 2013