News

August 22, 2019

Beethoven’s 250th Anniversary celebrated throughout 2019–20 season

​For more than a decade, Jonathan 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, 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, Jonathan’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:

— Washington, DC (Phillips Collection) — Three-recital mini-cycle of select sonatas divided into Beethoven’s early, middle, and late periods. Nov. 3 (“Early”), Dec. 1 (“Middle”), Mar. 22 (“Late”).*

— Philadelphia (Kimmel Center, Perelman Theater) — Four of the eight programs in the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society’s Beethoven solo piano series. Jonathan 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

Jonathan 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). He then brings the new commission to the Dresden Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and Poland’s Wrocław Philharmonic. Additionally, Jonathan 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).