June 18, 2019
Beethoven’s 250th Anniversary To Be Celebrated by Jonathan Biss, Stephen Hough, Miró Quartet, and More
Left to Right: Pianist Jonathan Biss; Miró Quartet; Pianist Stephen Hough
Left to Right: Pianist Jonathan Biss; Miró Quartet; Pianist Stephen Hough

Jonathan Biss completes piano sonata recording cycle and performs complete sonatas in concerts around the world, and explores all 32 sonatas via online Coursera lecture series; appears as soloist in “Emperor” Concerto with Osmo Vänskä and Curtis Symphony Orchestra on seven-city East Coast tour including concerts at Carnegie Hall and Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center; and completes Beethoven/5 concerto commissioning project with premiere of Brett Dean’s Gneixendorfer Musik in Stockholm

Stephen Hough’s recording of all five piano concertos with Hannu Lintu and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra is released on Hyperion Records

Miró Quartet performs Beethoven’s string quartets on complete box set for Pentatone and in concerts around U.S., including full cycle as part of residency at Chamber Music Northwest

Additional performances listed in full Beethoven highlights schedule

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (June 18, 2019) — To mark the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, artists across the world are celebrating his music with wide-ranging performances and projects—from Jonathan Biss’s immersion in the composer’s piano sonatas, to Stephen Hough’s recording of the five piano concertos, to the Miró Quartet’s surveys of the complete string quartets in concert and on recording. Even beyond cycles and series, the number of individual Beethoven performances expands next season in celebration of the anniversary. Highlighted below are select Beethoven projects, as well as a complete schedule of Beethoven performances, recordings, and additional highlights by Shuman Associates artists during the 2019–20 season.

JONATHAN BISS: Complete Piano Sonatas (concerts, recordings, online lectures);
Beethoven/5 Commissioning Project; “Emperor” Concerto with Osmo Vänskä and
Curtis Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center

Jonathan Biss performs Piano Sonata No. 5 in C minor, Op. 10, No. 1 at WQXR's 2011 Beethoven Piano Sonata Marathon

Jonathan Biss’s lecture series Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas, hosted by Coursera in affiliation with the Curtis Institute of Music

For more than a decade, pianist Jonathan Biss has fully immersed himself in the music of Beethoven, exploring the composer’s works and musical thought through a wide variety of projects, several of which culminate this season. In 2012, he launched a nine-volume recording cycle of the composer’s 32 piano sonatas, which concludes this season. Complementing this cycle is his online Coursera lecture series Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, created in affiliation with the Curtis Institute of Music, where he is on faculty, and launched in 2013 with the goal of covering each sonata in depth. The course achieved instant, widespread popularity, and the final lectures appear this fall and winter. Additionally, Mr. Biss’s recital repertoire this season is almost exclusively focused on the Beethoven piano sonatas, with complete, seven-program sonata cycles planned for Berkeley’s Hertz Hall (Sept. 21 – Mar. 8), London’s Wigmore Hall (Sept. 29 – June 25), and the new McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University (Oct. 25 – Mar. 28). He performs additional sonata recitals and mini-cycles around the U.S., including in:

  • Philadelphia (Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater) — Four of the eight programs in the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society’s Beethoven solo piano series. Mr. Biss performs over half of the 32 sonatas, with the rest performed by Rudolf Buchbinder, Ingrid Fliter, and Richard Goode (Mitsuko Uchida performs Beethoven bagatelles and variations). Feb. 18, Mar. 19, 24, 30
  • New York (92nd Street Y) — An exploration of Beethoven’s late style—one of the subjects of his 2017 eBook Coda—via a recital program of the composer’s last three piano sonatas. Mar. 26.

...among other dates to be announced.

Mr. Biss has taken a different approach to surveying Beethoven’s five piano concertos, embarking on a commissioning project, Beethoven/5, which pairs each Beethoven concerto with a new concerto composed in response. Launched in 2015 in partnership with lead commissioner the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, this project has led to world premieres by Timo Andres, Sally Beamish, Salvatore Sciarrino, Caroline Shaw, and—this season—Brett Dean, whose Gneixendorfer Musik premieres in Stockholm alongside the work that inspired it, Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto, with The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra (Feb. 13, 15). Additionally, Mr. Biss performs the “Emperor” on an East Coast U.S. tour with Osmo Vänskä and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, including concerts at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center (Jan. 31) and Carnegie Hall (Feb. 8).

LISTEN (via Spotify) to Mr. Biss’s Beethoven sonata cycle:
Vols.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 (to be released)

STEPHEN HOUGH: Complete Piano Concertos (recording)

Stephen Hough performs Piano Concerto No. 5 (“Emperor”) with Alan Gilbert and the
New York Philharmonic in 2017

Stephen Hough discusses Beethoven’s
piano concertos in advance of complete cycle in concert with Singapore Symphony in 2015

In recent seasons, pianist Stephen Hough has been especially focused on exploring Beethoven’s five piano concertos, including in performances with the New York Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, and St. Louis Symphony. He has performed complete Beethoven concerto cycles with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony, Tasmanian Symphony, and—now on this two-volume recording released by Hyperion Records in May 2020—the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra with Chief Conductor Hannu Lintu. In concert this season, he performs three of these concertos in the U.S.:

  • Washington, DC (The Kennedy Center): Piano Concerto No. 3 with the National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Louis Langrée. Apr. 16, 18
  • Asheville, NC (Wolfe Auditorium): Piano Concertos No. 4 and 5 with the Asheville Symphony, conducted by Music Director Darko Butorac. May 9

Mr. Hough also explores Beethoven’s concertos in writing in his upcoming book, Rough Ideas: Reflections on Music and More. To be published on February 4 in the U.S. by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, this collection of essays includes a selection titled “How Beethoven Redesigned the Cadenza,” as well as an essay about a Holocaust-surviving pianist who found special solace in the music of Beethoven.

MIRÓ QUARTET: Complete String Quartets (concerts, recordings)

Miró Quartet performs Op. 95 (“Serioso”) at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall in 2015

Selection from Volume 5 (2018) of the Miró Quartet’s Beethoven recording cycle

Now celebrating its 25th anniversary season, the Miró Quartet also celebrates Beethoven’s 250th anniversary with the composer’s complete string quartets in concert and on recording. In July 2019, the Quartet embarks on a year-long string quartet cycle at Chamber Music Northwest, where the ensemble is in residence during the 2019–20 season. The Quartet has previously performed full Beethoven cycles at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, Chamber Music Tulsa, and the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival in Washington state. Performances of the Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 130 with Grosse Fuge, Op. 133 are also programmed in Indianapolis (Oct. 23) as part of the Miró Quartet Archive Project, which honors the American string quartet tradition by recreating three historic recitals by iconic, early 20th-century ensembles, in this case a 1935 program by the Kolisch Quartet.

Beyond the concert hall, the Miró Quartet concludes its recording cycle of Beethoven’s string quartets with the release of a complete box set on Pentatone in November 2019. The ensemble began this project in 2005 with the release of the Op. 18 quartets, so the finished cycle represents not only the Beethoven’s journey as a composer, but also a 14-year journey for the Miró Quartet, with each volume serving as a musical snapshot along the way. Including the 2005 recording, five volumes have been released individually, the latest in 2018. Recordings of the remaining quartets are released as part of the complete set alongside these earlier volumes.

LISTEN (via Spotify) to Miró Quartet’s Beethoven quartet cycle:
Vols.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5… (additional volumes to be released)

# # #

SHUMAN ASSOCIATES ARTISTS'
2019–20 BEETHOVEN PERFORMANCES,
RECORDINGS, AND ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

(with emphasis on U.S. dates)

Jonathan Biss, piano

— Piano Sonatas (listed by number, 1–32, along with nickname where applicable)

  • Complete Seven-Program Cycle presented by Cal Performances at Hertz Hall in Berkeley, CA
    • SEPT. 21: Nos. 1, 9, 12 (“Funeral March”), 13 (“Quasi una fantasia”), and 21 (“Waldstein”)
    • SEPT. 22: Nos. 4 (“Grand Sonata”), 5, 17 (“The Tempest”), and 23 (“Appassionata”)
    • OCT. 12: Nos. 3, 15 (“Pastoral”), 20, 27, and 28
    • OCT. 13: Nos. 6, 10, 18 (“The Hunt”), and 29 (“Hammerklavier”)
    • DEC. 15: Nos. 11, 14 (“Moonlight”), 24 (“À Thérèse”), 25, and 30
    • MAR. 7: Nos. 2, 7, 16, 19, and 31
    • MAR. 8: Nos. 8 (“Pathétique”), 22, 26 (“Les Adieux”), and 32
  • Complete Seven-Program Cycle at Wigmore Hall in London (recitals to be complemented with separate-day talks based on Mr. Biss’s Coursera course, Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas)
    • SEPT. 29: Nos. 1, 9, 12 (“Funeral March”), 13 (“Quasi una fantasia”), and 21 (“Waldstein”)
    • DEC. 19: Nos. 4 (“Grand Sonata”), 5, 17 (“Tempest”), and 23 (“Appassionata”)
    • JAN. 26: Nos. 3, 15 (“Pastoral”), 20, 27, and 28
    • FEB. 28: Nos. 10, 18 (“The Hunt”), and 29 (“Hammerklavier”)
    • APR. 20: Nos. 14 (“Moonlight”), 24, 25, and 30
    • MAY 9: Nos. 1, 2, 7, 19, and 31
    • JUNE 25: Nos. 8 (“Pathétique”), 22, 26 (“Les Adieux”), and 32
  • Complete Seven-Program Cycle at the McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK
    • OCT. 25: Nos. 3, 15 (“Pastoral”), 20, 27, and 28
    • OCT. 27: Nos. 6, 10, 18 (“The Hunt”), and 29 (“Hammerklavier”)
    • NOV. 15: Nos. 4 (“Grand Sonata”), 5, 17 (“The Tempest”), and 23 (“Appassionata”)
    • FEB. 20: Nos. 1, 9, 12 (“Funeral March”), 13 (“Quasi una fantasia”), and 21 (“Waldstein”)
    • FEB. 21: Nos. 11, 14 (“Moonlight”), 24, 25, and 30
    • MAR. 27: Nos. 2, 7, 16, 19, and 31
    • MAR. 28: Nos. 8 (“Pathétique”), 22, 26 (“Les Adieux”), and 32
  • Four Programs in Philadelphia Chamber Music Society’s Eight-Program Beethoven Solo Piano Series at the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater
    • FEB. 18: Nos. 12 (“Funeral March”), 13 (“Quasi una fantasia”), 16, 19, and 21 (“Waldstein”)
    • MAR. 19: Nos. 5, 9, 10, and 29 (“Hammerklavier”)
    • MAR. 24: Nos. 4 (“Grand Sonata”), 14 (“Moonlight”), 24 (“À Thérèse”), 25, and 30
    • MAR. 30: Nos. 2, 11, 22, 28, and 31
  • OCT. 15 (Northridge, CA): Nos. 14 (“Moonlight”), 15 (“Pastoral”), 20, 27, and 28 at CSU Northridge
  • OCT. 16 (Northridge): Nos. 6, 10, 18 (“The Hunt”), and 29 (“Hammerklavier”) at CSU Northridge
  • NOV. 5 (Seattle): Nos. 4 (“Grand Sonata”), 5, 17 (“The Tempest”), and 23 (“Appassionata”) at Meany Hall
  • NOV. 17 (Kingston, Ontario): Nos. 4 (“Grand Sonata”), 17 (“The Tempest”), 24 (“À Thérèse”), 25 (“Cuckoo”), and 30 at the Isabel Bader Center
  • FALL, WINTER (Online):Final two installments of Coursera lecture series Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas
  • DEC. 10, 11 (Seattle): Beethoven talk (12/10) and program of Nos. 30, 31, and 32 (12/11) at Meany Hall
  • JAN. 8 (East Lansing, MI): Nos. 3, 15 (“Pastoral”), 20, 27, and 28 at Cobb Great Hall
  • JAN. 10 (East Lansing): Nos. 6, 10, 18 (“The Hunt”), and 29 (“Hammerklavier”) at Cobb Great Hall
  • MAR. 26 (New York): Nos. 30, 31, and 32 at 92nd Street Y
  • MAY 2, 3 (Kalamazoo, MI): Beethoven talk (5/2) and program of Nos. 2, 16, 27, and 31 (5/3) at Gilmore Keyboard Festival

Season also includes conclusion of Beethoven piano sonata recording cycle.

— Piano Concertos

  • AUG. 16 (Aspen): No. 3 with Aspen Chamber Symphony, conducted by Christian Arming, at Aspen Music Festival and School
  • NOV. 20, 21 (Ottawa): No. 5 (“Emperor”) with National Arts Centre Orchestra, conducted by Pinchas Zukerman at Southam Hall
  • JAN. 30 – FEB. 8: East Coast Tour performing No. 5 (“Emperor”) with Curtis Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Osmo Vänskä
    • JAN. 30 (Immaculata, PA): Immaculata University, Alumnae Hall
    • JAN. 31 (Philadelphia): Kimmel Center's Merriam Theater
    • FEB. 1 (Bethlehem, PA): Lehigh University, Zoellner Arts Center
    • FEB. 3 (Athens, GA): University of Georgia, Performing Arts Center
    • FEB. 5 (Blacksburg, VA): Virginia Tech, Moss Arts Center
    • FEB. 6 (Durham, NC): Duke University, Baldwin Auditorium
    • FEB. 8 (New York): Carnegie Hall
  • FEB. 13, 15 (Stockholm): World premiere of Brett Dean's Gneixendorfer Musik, and Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 (“Emperor”) with The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Afkham at the Berwaldhallen
  • APR. 2, 4 (Naples, FL): No. 5 (“Emperor”) with Naples Philharmonic, conducted by Andrey Boreyko at Artis—Naples

— Chamber Music

  • AUG. 17 (Aspen): Quintet for Piano and Winds, Op. 16 at Aspen Music Festival and School with fellow artist-faculty

James Conlon, conductor

— RAI National Symphony Orchestra (as Principal Conductor) — Auditorium Rai

  • OCT. 11, 12 (Torino, Italy): Egmont Overture
  • OCT. 17, 18 (Torino, Italy): Coriolan Overture and Violin Concerto, featuring Frank Peter Zimmermann
  • OCT. 24–26 (Torino, Italy): Symphony No. 6

Stephen Hough, piano

  • APR. 16, 18 (Washington, DC): Piano Concerto No. 3 with the National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Louis Langrée at The Kennedy Center
  • FEB. 4 (Book): Rough Ideas: Reflections on Music and More, including essays on Beethoven, to be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • MAY (Recording): Two-volume recording of Beethoven's complete piano concertos with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Chief Conductor Hannu Lintu, to be released by Hyperion Records
  • MAY 9 (Asheville, NC): Piano Concertos No. 4 and 5 with the Asheville Symphony, conducted by Music Director Darko Butorac at Wolfe Auditorium

Jennifer Koh, violin

  • AUG. 1 (Damariscotta, ME): String Trio, Op. 9/2 at Salt Bay ChamberFest
  • AUG. 3 (Hunter, NY): Violin Sonatas No. 6–8 alongside Andrew Norman’s Bridging I–III as part of Bridge to Beethoven with pianist Shai Wosner at Doctorow Center
  • APR. 25 (Boulder, CO): Violin Concerto with Boulder Philharmonic, conducted by Music Director Michael Butterman at Macky Auditorium

Minnesota Orchestra (Minneapolis) — Orchestra Hall

  • NOV. 3: String Quartet No. 1 on chamber program
  • JAN. 30, 31, FEB. 1: Symphony No. 4, conducted by Paul Watkins
  • FEB. 2: Trio for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano on chamber program

Miró Quartet

— String Quartets

  • Complete Six-Program Cycle at Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, OR
    • JULY 11: Op. 18/1–3
    • JULY 13: Op. 18/5–6
    •  DEC. 8: Op. 59/1–3 (“Razumovsky”)
    • FEB. 6: Op. 74 (“Harp”), 95 (“Serioso”), and 127
    • JULY 2020 (over two programs): Op. 130–133, and 135
  • JULY 18 (Saint-Ambroise-de-Kildare, Quebec): Op. 18/4 at Le Festival de Lanaudière
  • AUG. 10 (La Jolla): Op. 18/4, 59/2 (“Razumovsky”), and 135 at La Jolla Summerfest
  • SEPT. 8 (Calgary): Op. 18/4 (mvt. 1) at Honens Festival
  • OCT. 23 (Indianapolis): Op. 130 and 133 (“Grosse Fuge”) at Glick Indiana History Center
  • NOV. (Recording): Box set of Beethoven's complete string quartets to be released by Pentatone
  • DEC. 3 (Houston): Op. 59/2 (“Razumovsky”) at Stude Concert Hall
  • JAN. 15 (Denver): Op. 74 (“Harp”) at Newman Center
  • JAN. 29 (Iowa City): Op. 59/2 (“Razumovsky”) at Hancher Auditorium
  • FEB. 9 (Neskowin, OR): Op. 74 (“Harp”), 95 (“Serioso”), and 127 at Camp Wi-Ne-Ma
  • FEB. 22 (Corpus Christi, TX): Op. 95 (“Serioso”) at Wolfe Recital Hall
  • MAR. 9 (Naples, FL): Op. 95 (“Serioso”)
  • APR. 4 (Tulsa, OK): Op. 74 (“Harp”) at Tulsa Performing Arts Center

New World Symphony (Miami Beach) — New World Center

  • NOV. 24: Quintet for Piano and Winds, Op. 16 on chamber program
  • MAR. 7: Triple Concerto with Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio and led by Cristian Măcelaru
  • APR. 17, 18: Piano Concerto No. 2, featuring Joyce Yang and conducted by Osmo Vänskä (4/18 is WALLCAST® concert)

Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor

— San Francisco Symphony (as Music Director) — Davies Symphony Hall

  • JAN. 16–18 (San Francisco): Piano Concerto No. 2, featuring Emanuel Ax
  • JUNE 4–6 (San Francisco): Violin Concerto with Anne-Sophie Mutter

Utah Symphony (Salt Lake City) — Abravanel Hall

  • SEPT. 13, 14: The Consecration of the House Overture, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the opening of Abravanel Hall
  • JAN. 3, 4: Leonore Overture No. 3, led by Associate Conductor Conner Gray Covington
  • FEB. 21, 22: Symphony No. 7
  • APR. 24, 25: Symphony No. 6
  • MAY 1, 2: Symphony No. 5 and Romance No. 1 with violinist Augustin Hadelich
  • MAY 16: Violin Concerto, featuring Joshua Bell and conducted by Conner
  • Gray Covington
  • MAY 22, 23: Symphony No. 3

Performances led by Music Director Thierry Fischer except where noted otherwise.

Shai Wosner, piano

    • AUG. 3 (Hunter, NY): Violin Sonatas No. 6–8 alongside Andrew Norman’s Bridging I–III as part of Bridge to Beethoven with violinist Jennifer Koh at Doctorow Center
    • JAN. 26 (St. Johnsbury, VT): Piano Sonata No. 15 (“Pastoral”) at South Church Hall
    • MAR. 6–8 (Phoenix): Piano Concerto No. 3 with Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Tito Muñoz at Symphony Hall
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