They're possibly the most famous four notes in music history.

They're possibly the most famous four notes in music history.

Nearly everyone recognizes the opening of the first movement of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. But what exactly makes this 200-plus-year-old piece of music so iconic?

Music director Rossen Milanov and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra will provide some answers to this question and others concerning this masterwork of the orchestral repertoire. The CSO's Thursday, Nov. 19, Access (a new series initiated this season by Milanov) concert, will be part concert, part music appreciation.

"We do these concerts because I feel that, if you didn't play a classical instrument or you were not exposed to classical music by your parents or schools, we have a desire to give people a second chance to enter this absolutely amazing world," Milanov said.

The program will not by dry and academic, though, he said. Terminology will be kept to a minimum, and the "appreciation" portion of the concert will resemble a live-action multimedia presentation.

"It will be very informal," Milanov explained. "We'll talk about historical context, aesthetical context and point to what sounds people will want to listen for, by playing short examples.

"It will be like a guided museum tour with a docent or a dinner at the chef's table."

The second half of the concert will feature the piece played in its entirety.

"If a concert is going to feature only one piece, (the audience) will probably like to be familiar with it," Milanov said. "But we also expect there will be some curiosity beyond simply the entertainment of a concert."

Milanov said the program dovetails nicely with the orchestra's season series concerts on Friday and Saturday, which will feature a different Beethoven symphony.

"People who come and learn from these Access concerts can apply that process to other works," he said.

A second Access concert is planned for Jan. 7, and will feature Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5.

Southern Theatre

6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19

21 E. Main St., Downtown

columbussymphony.com