The CSO hosts a Beethoven Marathon from Nov. 11-12.

The CSO hosts a Beethoven Marathon from Nov. 11-12.

Whether you're a fanof Beethoven, classical music in general or the Columbus Symphony specifically, don't miss the CSO's Beethoven Marathon Nov. 11–12 at the Ohio Theatre. The two evenings begin at 6 p.m. with a chamber music performance of Beethoven's Quintet for Piano and Winds, followed at 7 p.m. with WOSU's Christopher Purdy discussing all things Beethoven as an introduction to the man and his music. The symphony then takes center stage, performing three of Beethoven's orchestral works-Symphony Nos. 2 and 7 will bookend a performance of Concerto in C Major-in a 2-hour concert. At 10 p.m., another chamber performance follows: Beethoven's String Quartet No. 14. We asked four CSO featured performers to describe what makes the composer's life and works still meaningful two centuries later.

Peter Stafford Wilson,conductor

"Beethoven is the benchmark by which all other symphonic music is judged.But if you strip away the superlatives and explore his letters, his conversation books, etc., you find that he is a normal human being, more than a bit quirky, with all the foibles, all the challenges that we all face.In fact, he had baggage that some of us can't imagine. When he wrote the seventh symphony (which we will play on this program), he was almost deaf.Think about that!An artist, creating in the medium of sound, yet he couldn't hear a thing.Amazing.Also, at about the time he wrote this piece, he had penned the love letter known as "The Immortal Beloved" to an unknown addressee, maybe fictional, yet conveying the emptiness in his heart and his yearning for love, something that would remain an image and never a reality to him. Beethoven's experience is our own, and that association that we can feel makes his music as powerful to us today as it was 200 years ago when he wrote it."

Luis Biava, principal cello

"Beethoven is so accessible because of the feeling he creates in the music he writes. There is always a hopeful quality inside the music that passes on to the performer and listener. This happens in fast and slow movements in all of his music. He was taking the mantle of the great Mozart and Haydn and [creating] his own style, yet still respecting the classical forms of these two great composers as well as others before them."

Alicia Hui, principal second violin

"Beethoven's era was the turning point for classical music. It made way for new styles and interpretations that was unprecedented during the 18th century. What I love about Beethoven's works is that he was able to use his imagination of his surroundings and translate that into his pieces, and I believe that it is evoked to the audience."

Caroline Hong, pianist

"Beethoven's understanding of the human condition and experience is expressed in a way that makes his music very powerful and, at the same time, accessible. Who doesn't identify with his ambition to express his individuality on his own terms, pursue the idea of freedom of spirit, while dealing with the reality of life struggle, and real or perceived triumph? The conditions of his upbringing, his physical health and his social status would probably leave much to be desired in present day. He was able to transcend his life through his art."