Conductor Andrew Koehler programmed two big works for his March 2 program with the Kalamazoo Philharmonia: the Symphony No. 1 by Johannes Brahms, and Alexander von Zemlinsky's Die Seejungfrau (The Mermaid). Koehler tells Cara Lieurance the latter is based on the Hans Christian Andersen story, and is a forgotten masterwork by a composer who was caught between old and new Viennese musical trends at the turn of the 20th century. The older Brahms, who worked on his first symphony for over 20 years, also found himself in a quandary: trying to embrace the new Romanticism while refusing to reject the legacy of Beethoven and other past masters.
The concert "A Tale Of Two Cities" will be held March 2 at 8 pm in the Dalton Theatre of the Light Fine Arts Center at Kalamazoo College.