By Emma Kinghorn, Staff Writer

To celebrate their centennial anniversary, the Miami Symphony Orchestra has lined up a season full of unique, diverse and premiere performances.

To start it all off, the orchestra will perform the “Eroica,” Beethoven’s third symphony, tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Hall Auditorium. The symphony was voted the greatest of all time in a BBC Music Magazine survey of 151 music conductors from across the globe earlier this summer. Miami professor and symphony conductor, Ricardo Averbach, explained the significance of the symphony.

“It is a masterpiece in the terms of the way the notes are put together, the orchestration, the musical form,” he said. “I always wanted to perform the ‘Eroica’ here at Miami. I’m thrilled to play this piece with our students, especially in an occasion like this, which is the centennial year.”

Averbach had chosen the music prior to the BBC’s announcement, due to it’s revolutionary quality.

“Normally, evolution comes gradually. It is rare for evolution to happen through quantum leaps, but in the ‘Eroica’ this is what happened,” he said. “[Beethoven] basically changed the meaning of what music is supposed to be [with this piece].”

“No one had ever heard anything this intense before,” said senior orchestra president, Silver Flight.

This Friday’s concert will also be a part of the Daniel Pearl World Music Days, commemorating Daniel Pearl, an American journalist who was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan in 2002. Pearl had a long musical history and a reputation for picking up an instrument for any special occasion.

The World Music Days were “created with the goal of using music as a universal language to bring people with different beliefs together,” said Averbach.

Flight thinks it is important to make this connection.

“I think music can connect people from different cultures. I mean there are different types of music in different cultures, but music is something that most cultures have in common,” she said.

Averbach added, “[It’s important to] do things like this because by connecting the music we perform with events that are current, that are contemporary, we make the music more meaningful to our days.”

After the concert, the audience will be invited to continue remembering Pearl at a reception coordinated with Late Night Miami.

Tonight’s concert is only  the first in a line of impressive centennial performances.

“As part of our centennial season, in the next concert, we are going to do a premiere at Miami, a premiere in the United States, of a composition called ‘Chimera,’” said Averbach.

The solos in the composition will be performed by the brass quintet of the Cincinnati Symphony. The composer of the piece, Anthony DiLorenzo, will be attending, as well as Samuel Adler, one of the greatest living American composers.

The second semester holds even more big names and performances for the orchestra.

“We are going to do the American premiere of a very important piece that [Arturo Marquez] wrote, a cantata called ‘Dreams,’” said Averbach.

The piece will integrate both the orchestra and the choir to create a performance in which lyrics are pieces of famous speeches, beginning with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

In the same concert there will be a tribute to Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Prize laureate and Palestinian female education activist.

“I’m going to crown our centennial season, in our last performance, we are going to do a world premiere,” said Averbach, “A Miami professor, Per Bloland, will, for the first time, write a composition specifically for the Miami Orchestra.”

Approximately 40 percent of the Miami Orchestra is new to the company every year.

“It means that this a landmark event in our history, but at the same time it is a year like any other where we start from scratch, from zero,” explained Averbach.

Senior Hayden McDougald, manager of the orchestra, isn’t worried by this turnover.

“We have a lot of leadership, experienced players that take [new members] under their wing,” he said. “They’re going to pull it off and give a successful season.”

“We are starting off the year with one of the greatest symphonies ever composed,” said Flight. “And I’m looking forward to the rest of the season, which is full of amazing and inspirational compositions.”