2020 MARKS the 250th anniversary of the birth of one of the absolute giants of music - of classical, or any genre - Ludwig van Beethoven, and his music will be at the centre of Music for Galway's annual mid-winter festival.
The festival runs from Friday January 17 to Sunday 19 at Town Hall Theatre, and will feature concerts focusing on the great man's early solo piano and chamber music compositions, including solo piano works, violin sonatas, and string quartets. Highlights include the String Quartets 5 and 6, Septet, Eroica Variations, and "Kreutzer" Violin Sonata – one of the most dramatic and virtuosic of all his creations.
Performers will be the ConTempo Quartet, Aisling Casey (oboe ), John Finucane (clarinet ), Amy Harman (bassoon ), Hervé Joulain (horn ), and Dominic Dudley (double bass ), while Russian violinst Alina Ibragimova and French pianist Cédric Tiberghien perform together in the final concert.
The musicologist Richard Wigmore will give two talks: 'Wooing the elite: Beethoven's conquest of Vienna' (January 17, 4pm ) and 'I will strike out on a new path': entering Beethoven's heroic decade' (January 18, 7pm ). Admission to both these events are free.
"It's a delight to explore the beauty and diversity of Beethoven's chamber music" said MfG artistic director Finghin Collins, "His early piano and chamber works abound with his youthful energy, tuneful melodies and utter mastery of form."
Beethoven will feature in MfG's Cellissimo festival in April and again in December 2020 with a performance of his Ninth Symphony. "Beethoven’s music, whether intimate or powerful, whispering or triumphantly proclaiming, is always uplifting, inspiring and invigorating," said Finghin. "These are qualities we all need in our daily lives."