From the Artist Bench with Catherine Kautsky (10/22/2021)

Music and Nationhood

Winter 2021: Expanded Review: Ludwig van Beethoven: The Complete Piano Sonatas played on period instruments

Ludwig van Beethoven: The Complete Piano Sonatas played on period instrumentsPaul Badura-Skoda, fortepianoArcana A2039 CDs[Total Time: 10:06:09] As deeply informed, brilliant, insightful, and original Badura-Skoda expectedly is in this compilation of reissues recorded between 1978 and 1989, perhaps the principal i...

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Winter 2021: Keyboard Kids Companion

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Winter 2021: Editor's Letter: Celebrating Musical Innovators

Ludwig van Beethoven was baptized on December 17, 1770, in Bonn. Although unimaginable on that winter day, his influence on generations of musicians across Europe cannot be overstated. To this day, his work occupies an enormous part of our musical canon and playing certain Beethoven sonatas remains a rite of passa...

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Winter 2021: Creative Commemorations: How a Performer, Composer, and Teacher Celebrated Beethoven's 250th Anniversary


 Josh Straub Chris Madden (CM): How did the Beerthoven concert series begin? Josh Straub (JS): I have to admit that I'm not the person who started the Beerthoven concert series—it was my partner Daniel Swayze—but I was involved relatively early on. It's kind of ironic that Daniel and I both took Martha Hilley's Career ...

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Winter 2021: First Looks: Recordings

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN: THE COMPLETE PIANO SONATAS PLAYED ON PERIOD INSTRUMENTSPaul Badura-Skoda, fortepianoArcana A203 | 9 CDs[Total Time: 10:06:09]OUTHERE-MUSIC.COMAs deeply insightful and brilliant Badura-Skoda expectedly is in this collection of reissues recorded between 1978 and 1989, perhaps the principal interest ...

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Winter 2021: First Looks: New Music

 (S) Five Easy Piano Sonatas and (S6) Five Famous Piano Sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven When new piano majors come to my college studio for their first lessons, one of my initial tasks is to discuss and assign them new repertoire. Unfortunately, many of these students were previously conditioned to work from photocopies, si...

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Beethoven: Sonatina in G Major


Preparation and Presentation Context: Pieces that are helpful to have experienced or played before approaching this one Students should be playing the earliest selections of original piano works.Sonatinas by Lynes, Attwood, Latour, and other selections in any level 1 and 2 Sonatina books.Method book pieces introducing Alberti bass (approx. level 3)...

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From the Artist Bench with Andrew Cooperstock

Sonata in F Minor, Op. 2 No. 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven

From the Artist Bench with Carol Leone (12-10-20)

Did you enjoy this webinar? Please complete our brief survey to help us improve our webinar series and continue to bring you the highest quality resources in piano teaching. File Name: Leones-Tempo-Determinants File Size: 139 kb Download File

The Beethoven Piano Sonatas: Frequently Asked Questions

As the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) approaches, it is a good time to get in the celebratory spirit by answering some FAQs. A warning, though: behind every seemingly straightforward answer, there are always more questions! 1. What editions should I use?  Simple answer: There are excellent Urtext editions av...

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April 26


1783 - at 13 years old, Beethoven is appointed keyboard performer at court orchestra in Bonn.

December 18

1795 Premiere of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 in Vienna It was dedicated to his pupil Princess Anna Louise Barbara Odescalchi (née Countess von Keglevics).

November 28

1811 - Premiere of Beethoven's "Emperor" Piano Concerto No. 5 in Leipzig with the Gewandhaus Orchestra. Johann Philip Christian Schultz conducting, Friedrich Schneider, soloist. 

Keyboard Kids' Companion: November/December 2017

Famous WorksFür Elise No. 3"Moonlight" Sonata No. 5 No. 9 Meet the Composers: Ludwig van Beethoven Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany, on December 6, 1770. His family background was Dutch; the name Beethoven m...

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Poetry Corner: Nov/Dec 2017

Beethoven: Sonata No. 14 ​for Roma You were at the piano playing the "Moonlight," A name Rellstab gave it when he heard The Adagio, and remembered moonlight Flecking the waves of Lake Lucerne. But this was afternoon, in Boston, The sun lighting up your apartment Like a flare, your fingers laboring Against a dead middle-C, and an A Which twanged in ...

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Recording Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas in the 21st Century: An Interview with Steinway Pianist James Brawn


The great pianist and conductor Hans von Bülow once called Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas the New Testament of music. This bold declaration foreshadowed the lofty status Beethoven's Testament now holds in the Western canon of classical music. It also set the stage for an impressive lineage of recordings, beginning with the first-ever complete cycle by Artur Schnabel—the celebrated Austrian pianist known to Harold C. Schonberg as "the man who invented Beethoven." Among those who followed in Schnabel's footsteps are some of the greatest pianists of the 20th and 21st centuries—Claudio Arrau, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Wilhelm Backhaus, Daniel Barenboim, Alfred Brendel, Annie Fischer, and the list goes on—and so it comes as no surprise that many pianists today treat this massive undertaking as a right of passage.

In one sense, however, it's also dangerous to enter the company of such esteemed colleagues. How does one "compete"? What new can be "said" of music that has been a staple of the repertoire for so long? These are some of the questions facing Steinway Artist James Brawn as he continues his Odyssey—now half finished—to record von Bülow's New Testament.

Your project invokes a monumental legacy of inspired Beethoven interpreters. Do you feel the weight of history on your shoulders?

While it is true there is a great historical legacy of recordings, the only pressure I feel personally is to do these piano sonatas justice and play them as faithfully as I am able. The works of the great composers, like Beethoven, are such a privilege to study and perform, and I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to record this cycle for MSR Classics.

As an artist, do you draw on the work of those who came before you? Or are you a lone wanderer?

Perhaps I'm more of a lone wanderer, in the sense I've always done my own thing and in my own time. Certainly when I was a student—until my early twenties—I was influenced by my teachers, as well as recordings and performances by great living pianists. So at that time, there was always someone looking over my shoulder, so to speak. But for the last twenty years I've managed to focus on music that I can't live without. The Beethoven sonatas have become extremely important to my being, and communicating this personal passion in recital, recording, and teaching is the inevitable outcome.

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The day of the thirty-two: Stewart Goodyear performs a Beethoven marathon

I recently endured something that probably no human should attempt. ​I heard, on Saturday, October 5, 2013, in Davis, California, at the University of California, Stewart Goodyear perform ALL of Beethoven's thirty-two piano sonatas IN ONE DAY. Since this was Mr. Goodyear's fourth reading of the "New Testament"—he had already performed thi...

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Beethoven goes to Hollywood (and takes a few friends along)

Beethoven goes to Hollywood (and takes a few friends along)

As a faculty member at the East Carolina University School of Music, I frequently taught our Piano Literature sequence. The last time I led these classes, I decided to add a new component to the second-semester schedule: films about pianist-composers. Hollywood through the years has found the artistic life irresistible, and there are quite a f...

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A Place in the Sun: Recent Editions of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas

A Place in the Sun: Recent Editions of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas

The central position of Beethoven's piano sonatas in our musical life remains secure, to judge from the flood of new editions of these pieces to emerge in recent years. Students and teachers of these indispensable works are confronted by choices, but there are no easy solutions, as the following comparison shows. For the purposes of this review I h...

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Piano Magazine is the leading resource for pianists, piano teachers, and piano enthusiasts. We bring you informative, interesting, and inspiring ideas on all aspects of piano teaching, learning, and performing. The official name of Clavier Companion magazine was changed to Piano Magazine in 2019.

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