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Presented By: School of Music, Theatre & Dance

The Broadwood Piano in Beethoven's Solo and Collaborative Works

William P. Malm and Jutta Gerber-Malm Stearns Collection Performance Series

The Broadwood Piano in Beethoven's Solo and Collaborative Works The Broadwood Piano in Beethoven's Solo and Collaborative Works
The Broadwood Piano in Beethoven's Solo and Collaborative Works
Angie Zhang, piano
Helen LaGrand, cello

PROGRAM
Ludwig van Beethoven

Sonata for Piano and Cello in A Major, Op. 69
32 Variations on an Original Theme in C Minor, WoO 80
Sonata for Piano and Cello in C Major, Op. 102, No. 1

featuring the Stearns Collection's 1808 Broadwood Piano
recently donated by the estate of Charles Wilson
and an anonymous 18th century French cello


In 1817, the great English piano builder John Broadwood met the famous pianist and composer Ludwig van Beethoven in Vienna. After returning home to London, Broadwood consulted with many of England's finest pianists to choose the best of his newest Broadwood pianos, which he sent to Beethoven as a gift. Inscribed above the nameboard on the piano are the words: "Hoc instrumentum est Thomas Broadwood londini donum propter ingenium illustrissimi Beethoven." [This instrument from Thomas Broadwood of London is a true gift to the illustrious Beethoven.]

Upon hearing that the piano was being sent to him, Beethoven wrote to Broadwood: "My dearest friend Broadwood, I have never felt a greater pleasure than that given me by the anticipation of the arrival of this piano, with which you are honouring me as a present. I shall regard it as an altar on which I shall place my spirit’s most beautiful offerings to the divine Apollo. As soon as I receive your excellent instrument, I shall send you the fruits of the first moments of inspiration I spend at it, as a souvenir for you from me, my very dear B., and I hope that they will be worthy of your instrument. My dear sir and friend, accept my warmest consideration, from your friend and most humble servant, Louis Van Beethoven. Vienna, 3rd February 1818.”

The piano featured in tonight's performance was built approximately ten years before Beethoven's Broadwood. It has a smaller compass of notes and less string tension, but retains many acoustical similarities to the piano Beethoven received and played.

attend in person or watch livestream at https://myui.ch/McIntoshTheatre
The Broadwood Piano in Beethoven's Solo and Collaborative Works The Broadwood Piano in Beethoven's Solo and Collaborative Works
The Broadwood Piano in Beethoven's Solo and Collaborative Works

Cost

  • Free and open to all - In person and livestreamed

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