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I caught Nuvi Mehta, the “Voice of the San Diego Symphony,” for a few minutes backstage this week at symphony rehearsal. He was preparing to portray the great composer Ludwig van Beethoven in a dramatized story about his Symphony No. 7, which Mehta and a couple of other performers presented last night alongside the San Diego Symphony.

He wanted to give the audience the chance to learn the context for Beethoven’s work, the stories from his life that might help a listener hear the music with a more human connection to the man who wrote it.

“We tend to think of these composers, just because they were brilliant geniuses, who could capture something, like they were other-worldly, up on a pedestal,” he said. “And then we dissociate ourselves from them. But they had all the same passions.”

And when you consider that Beethoven was a man, albeit obsessive and violent-tempered, Mehta said you might hear his music differently.

“I think you listen to the music with a fresh, ‘My goodness, how special it was that he could write this,’” Mehta said. “It’s not like, you know, he was a different species. He was just — amazing!”

Watch Mehta explain more and listen to the symphony rehearse the piece in our clip below, Behind the Scene TV with NBC 7 San Diego:

View more videos at: http://nbcsandiego.com.

The concert where Mehta plays Beethoven happened last night, but you can still hear the symphony play this piece, as well as a cello concerto performed by the symphony’s principal cellist, Yao Zhao, at concerts all weekend.

I’m Kelly Bennett, the arts editor for VOSD. You can reach me directly at kelly.bennett@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0531.

And follow Behind the Scene on Facebook.

Kelly Bennett

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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