Jonathan Biss first encountered Beethoven’s music as a young boy, quickly becoming obsessed. After years of studying and performing the composer’s works for piano, he embarked in 2011 on a nine-year project to record all 32 of Beethoven’s landmark piano sonatas, while also performing and lecturing around the world. He expected this project to be “the most fulfilling experience of [his] life,” but he did not anticipate the latent anxieties that his journey would uncover.
In UNQUIET: My Life with Beethoven, part of Audible’s Words + Music programming, Jonathan examines the interplay between his lifelong passion for the music of Beethoven and his own personal struggles with anxiety.
“The confinement of life in the COVID era has given me, at long last, the time, the space, and the freedom to examine my relationships with music and with myself. It is a paradox much like the one at the heart of my relationship with Beethoven, who has both amplified my anxiety and, in recent times, suggested a better way of co-existing with it. In writing UNQUIET, I've tried to share what I've learned about these complicated relationships with an honesty that eluded me in the past.”
UNQUIET: My Life with Beethoven includes musical interludes of selections primarily from Beethoven’s piano sonatas, recorded specifically for the project.