Beethoven Symphony No.1 Premiered in Lexington, KY - 1817

The Lexington Philharmonic continues its 2016/17 Season, Hear it FIRST, with Beethoven & Brahms, a lively program featuring masterpieces of the orchestral cannon on Friday, April 14th at 7:30 PM at the Singletary Center for the ArtsPhiladelphia Orchestra musicians Yumi Kendall and Marc Rovetti will join LexPhil in Brahms’ dynamic Concerto for Violin and Cello with Andrew Carlisle, professor of Bagpipes at Carnegie Melon University performing on Davies’ An Orkney Wedding at Sunrise.

Rounding out the first half of the program will be Beethoven'Symphony No. 1--a work full of youthful energy and enormous creativity by one of the greatest composers of all time. According to musicologist Michael Broyles, the second U.S. performance of a Beethoven Symphony took place at Postlethwaite’s Tavern in Lexington, KY in 1817, 200 years ago. A small orchestra led by Austrian conductor Anthony Philip Heinrich marked the first performance of the composer’s Symphony No. 1.  After his time in Lexington, Heinrich went on to become a founding member of the New York Philharmonic Society. [1]

The Postlethwaite Tavern, once located in the heart of downtown, was owned and operated on the corner of Limestone and E. Main by John Postlethwaite from 1797 until the 1820’s, when it became the Phoenix Hotel. The Phoenix Hotel was demolished in 1982, making way for what is now the central branch of the Lexington Public Library and Phoenix Park.

To commemorate the bicentennial of this historic performance, LexPhil is presenting a free Instrument Petting Zoo at the location where Beethoven’s Symphony No.1 was premiered in the United States. As an active component of LexPhil’s educational programming, the Instrument Petting Zoos engage young audiences with the opportunity to discover and forge lasting connections with music. For many children, the Petting Zoos are their first instrumental experience, so the artistic staff and musicians do everything possible to ensure it is engaging, educational, and fun.

Tickets to Beethoven & Brahms range from $25-75 with $11 student tickets as available. Beethoven & Brahms is made possible through the generous support of Landrum & Shouse LLP, Season Series Partner.

For more information or to purchase tickets to Beethoven & Brahms, please contact the Lexington Philharmonic Box Office at 859.233.4226, or visit online at www.lexphil.org.

The mission of the Lexington Philharmonic is to foster excellence and innovation in the performance and presentation of great music; to enrich the lives of our diverse citizenry; to educate current and future audiences and to bring distinction to our community through the orchestra’s presence and standing. Through LexPhil’s four core values of artistic excellence, innovation, collaboration and accessibility, LexPhil will continue to move forward, artistically and purposefully, providing world-class musical experiences and impactful educational opportunities for the Bluegrass Region and beyond. 

Now in his eighth season with the Lexington Philharmonic, Music Director and Conductor Scott Terrell has led the orchestra in a significant transformation to align with the organizational values of artistic excellence, collaboration, innovation and accessibility.  Scott is passionate about engaging the broadest possible community in music as listeners, musicians, composers and advocates.  Through LexPhil collaborations with high schools, colleges and youth performing arts groups, Scott dedicates time and energy to educating emerging musical artists. His programming has expanded the orchestra’s repertoire and enhanced the national reputation of the organization through commissioning of new music, multi-media and interdisciplinary projects and international guest conducting.

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All Lexington Philharmonic programs are made possible through the generous support of LexArts. In 2016-2017, the Lexington Philharmonic will receive a total of $170,000 in unrestricted support.         

LexPhil’s 2016-2017 Season is presented by the Dupree Initiative for Innovation, funded by the tremendous generosity of Thomas and Ann Todd Dupree.

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, provides operating support to the Lexington Philharmonic with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Saykaly Garbulinska Foundation, funder of the Saykaly Garbulinska Artist-in-Residence Program, generously brings innovative pianist Conrad Tao to LexPhil for its Arts In Healthcare partnership with UK Healthcare during the 2016-2017 season.

Special thanks to the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government for its continued partnership in ensuring a flourishing future for the arts in Lexington and central Kentucky.


[1] Broyles, Michael. Mavericks and Other Traditions in American Music (Yale University Press, 2008), 43-46.