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The Berkshire Beethoven Piano Project

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There is a new musical enterprise making its debut on Sunday June 2 (at 5 pm in the Kellogg Music Center, Bard College at Simon’s Rock). We call it “The Berkshire Beethoven Piano Project” in the optimistic belief that our program of four Beethoven piano sonatas, performed by four Berkshire pianists, will be the first in a series of such events. (With 32 sonatas to choose from, that means we might be able to do this seven more times!)

Each of us has chosen a work that has special personal significance; I am thrilled to have the chance to play no. 28, Op. 101, in A major for the first time in public. I have loved and studied this amazing work for more than forty years, but up to now I have kept it to myself.

My colleagues are Daniel Shulman, Mack Evans, and David Anderegg, who suggested the project and immediately claimed Sonata no. 31 in A-flat, op 110. The other sonatas will be Op. 10 no. 3 in D major (Dan) and Op. 90 in E minor (Evan).

Beethoven’s thirty-two piano sonatas form a bible for pianists, and each work offers challenges and rewards unlike any others in the literature, and no two works are alike. My piano teacher, Henry Danielowitz, loved and played them all. When I visited him in his retirement on the coast of Maine, he was still playing them, one after another, in order of composition; when he had completed the cycle he would start all over again. Eventually he could no longer hear (like Beethoven) so he listened to them in his mind while reading the scores, and he did this until he was 100 years old. I am dedicating my performance to him.

Please join us for this event which is the first, but hopefully not the last of its kind here in the Berkshires.

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