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Classical 101

Listen to Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony and Take a Nature Walk with Caroline Shaw

Dashon Burton
Violinist and composer Caroline Shaw

This Friday or Saturday evening, you can hear Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony at the Southern Theatre, performed by the Columbus Symphony and conducted by Rossen Milanov, and then take a guided nature walkon Sunday afternoon.

Violinist and composer Caroline Shaw, whose composition Lo will also be performed at the concerts, will lead the Beethoven-inspired nature walk beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Scioto Audubon Metro Park, just south of downtown Columbus.

Shaw, the youngest-ever recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, is also a nature enthusiast. After the walk, musicians from the Columbus Symphony will play an early Beethoven string quartet in the Grange Insurance Audubon Center at the park.

You may have heard how Beethoven, frustrated by his growing deafness and alienation from society in Vienna, loved to go for long walks in the woods outside the city. There, he felt at peace, surrounded by the beauty of the natural world. His walks inspired one of his best-loved symphonies, which includes descriptive titles for each movement.


These titles reveal much about the composer and the solace he found: "Awakening of cheerful feelings upon arrival in the countryside." There's a "Scene by the brook," and Beethoven enjoys a "Merry gathering of country folk." Everyone has to take cover for the "Thunder and Storm," but all is well by the concluding movement, "Shepherd's Song; cheerful and thankful feelings after the storm."

Sunday in Columbus is forecast to be a beautiful autumn day with no thunderstorms, so you can share in the same appreciation of nature as Beethoven without getting wet if you decide to go on the nature walk led by Shaw.

Also, a reminder that you can continue to enjoy Beethoven's symphonies during Symphony @ 7 on Classical 101, Thursday evenings at 7, as the cycle of all nine continues Thursday, Oct. 26 with his Symphony No. 4 in B Flat.