Beethoven’s Birthday concert

Wednesday 16 December 1.10 pm

Joint recital with the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe
completing their survey of all 32 sonatas during 2020
on Beethoven’s 250th birthday – today ! 

Julian Jacobson

Beethoven: Piano sonata in C minor Op 13 ‘Pathetique’

Beethoven: Piano sonata in C minor Op 111

Beethoven 250 celebration on what is presumed to be the actual birthdate.The final concert of the complete Sonatas programmed over the year by different pianists for the Beethoven Society.Today was to have been the final recital with the last Sonata op 111 to be played in a public concert at St James’s Piccadilly.It was cancelled for the new COVID Tier 3 restrictions brought into place last night.

Thanks to the generosity and passion of Dr Hugh Mather and his team the concert was rescheduled and streamed live from St Mary’s Perivale.So as not to upset Beethoven who was also celebrated with an opening flourish by Julian Jacobson,the chairman of the Beethoven Society.He gave musicianly performances of the Sonata in C minor op 13 and in Hugh’s own words a very poignantly moving performance of the last Sonata op 111.Julian is the only person I know who has played the entire cycle of 32 Sonatas on the same day all from memory …..or at least as he corrected me all but the Hammerklavier op 106!

Julian Jacobson enjoys a distinguished career as pianist, composer, writer, teacher and conductor. Trained classically at the Royal College of Music London (where he now teaches, as well as at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire) and Oxford University, he was also the inaugural pianist of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Great Britain. Julian has performed in more than forty countries on five continents. Frequently apppearing in China, he is Guest Professor at Xiamen University, and gives masterclasses internationally. A large and varied discography includes rarities such as the four sonatas of Carl Maria von Weber and the Violin Sonatas of Georges Enesco. He is Chairman of the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe and is in the process of recording the 32 sonatas. In 2003 he made history by performing all the sonatas from memory in a single day, repeating this in 2004 and 2013; he his planning one final “marathon” for 2022. He has composed several film and TV scores including To The Lighthouse and We Think The World Of You, as well as instrumental pieces and songs. His virtuoso transcriptions for piano duet of Gershwin’s An American in Paris and Second Rhapsody, published by Schott/Bardic Edition, have received rave reviews; Julian recorded them in August for the SOMM label with his duo partner Mariko Brown.


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