Ludwig van Beethoven's 250th birthday will be celebrated in 2020, but the Rolling Hills United Methodist Church will get an early start honoring him with its Second Sundays at Two event on Sunday, Nov. 10, beginning at 2 p.m.

Redondo Beach's Steven Vanhauwaert, along with the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, and under the direction of Charles Dickerson, will play Beethoven's “Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor,” at the free event. Vanhauwaert said they will tackle Beethoven's “Piano Concerto No. 4” in June.

“Usually the series is chamber music or piano solo... this will have about 35 on stage... they are all excited to play it,” Vanhauwaert said. “It's really magical to see people that excited about it. I like involving young people in music like that. It's amazing how they light up.”

Vanhauwaert has performed Beethoven's works all over the world, but he said his pieces are “always tricky” because of the unpredictability.

“It's like a clown practicing in the mirror where you have to make a different expression in a matter of a split second between one idea and the next one... it's hard to make those changes quickly,” Vanhauwaert said. “You need to be on your toes.”

Vanhauwaert has appeared as a piano soloist in some of the world's leading venues, including Walt Disney Concert Hall, Beijing's National Center of the Performing Arts and Forbidden City Theatre, the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, the Concertgebouw in Brugge, the Great Hall of the Budapest Liszt Conservatory, Segerstrom Hall, and the National Philharmonic Hall in Kiev.

The Belgium native has appeared as concerto soloist with the Pacific Symphony, the Lviv Philharmonic, the Sofia Sinfonietta, the Flemish Symphony, and the Kyiv Kamerata, to name a few.

Vanhauwaert is the artistic director of Second Sundays at Two, which presents five free concerts focusing mainly on Los Angeles musicians, from September through July, except December. After 15 years of traveling the globe, Vanhauwaert said he wants to be instrumental in making classical music “more vibrant” in the South Bay.

“I want to build more roots here and get more involved teaching young kids here, especially making chamber music a lot more accessible and build enthusiasm for it,” Vanhauwaert said.

The Rolling Hills United Methodist Church is located at 26438 Crenshaw Blvd. in Rolling Hills.

For more information, call (310) 316-5574.

Contact this reporter at mhixon@tbrnews.com or on Twitter @michaeljhixon.com.

Load comments