At London's leading chamber music venue, Wigmore Hall, 10 concerts over two days (14 an 15 Sept) open a year's exploration of the composer’s timeless art. In the ensuing months, all his instrumental and chamber works will be played, among them the composer’s piano, violin, and cello sonatas; the complete string quartets; the complete piano trios; and the complete string trios.
A two-season series of Beethoven’s piano variations and other highlights further demonstrates the composer's unceasing invention and innovation.
Artists at the opening Beethoven Festival Weekend include cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Cédric Tiberghien (14 & 15 September). Later come complete cycles by artists including piano sonatas with Jonathan Biss, violin sonatas with James Ehnes, string quartets with the Belcea Quartet, and cello sonatas with Miklós Perényi & Dénes Várjon.
Freya Waley-Cohen talks about Beethoven's influence on today's composers (2 Nov). Photo: Patrick Allen
Over the coming months Beethoven’s three great piano sonatas will be discussed and played by Sir András Schiff, and composer Freya Waley-Cohen will talk about the master's enduring influence on successive generations of composers between lunch-time concerts given by her sister Tamsin Waley-Cohen and the Albion Quartet (2 Nov).
A particular highlight of the Beethoven Festival Weekend promises to be a varied programme of Beethoven’s works conceived for unusual combinations of instruments presented by a glittering line-up of prominent musicians including Michael Collins (clarinet), Janne Thomson (flute), Nicholas Daniel (oboe), Amy Harman (bassoon), Alec Frank-Gemmil (horn), Benjamin Baker (violin), Timothy Ridout (viola), Isang Enders (cello), Jordi Carrasco-Hjelm (double bass) and Aleksander Madžar (piano).
Most 2019/20 Beethoven concerts will be live-streamed for free on its website, alongside broadcast of talks and insight events, bringing a global audience to this landmark celebration. Selected Beethoven 250 concerts will also have discounted tickets available for younger audience members through Wigmore Hall’s Under 35s Scheme, in partnership with Classic FM.
While the big symphonies and concertos take much of the limelight, the intense and personal world of Beethoven's chamber music is a wonderful place to explore, and Wigmore Hall's Beethoven 250 is the perfect route map.
|What||Beethoven 250, Wigmore Hall|
|Where||Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London, W1U 2BP | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Bond Street (underground)|
14 Sep 19 – 31 Dec 20, events over 15 months, times vary