Monday, February 20, 2012

Beethoven recap(itulation)

Ludwig van Beethoven
It’s been quite a journey. The city-wide Beethoven Festival ( was led by the San Antonio Symphony and included 11 artistic partners. There are still a couple of events to go – a 5k/10k Beethoven Run with YOSA on March 24th and the Vienna Piano Trio playing a Beethoven Piano Trio for the San Antonio Chamber Music Society on April 1st.

Hard to believe it all started with some cello sonatas with Camerata San Antonio on January 6th: The next day, the complete Piano Sonatas began with Jeffery Swann at Trinity University. It made me harken back to school, as a student learning form and analyis, studied quite a few of Beethoven’s works, and Swann began with the Sonata #1, Opus 2 #1. Another performance, on January 13th with the SA Symphony also made me think of the college years, as I had conducted Beethoven’s First Symphony with the fledgling Wichita Chamber Orchestra (that also included a now world famous mezzo soprano, Joyce DiDonato, read about that here This is from that first concert with Swann, part of the Hammerklavier Sonata: One of the more creative concerts came with SOLI Chamber Ensemble, who presented four new works based on Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge, as well as a transcription of the fugue for their instrumentation. This is Paul Moravec’s delightful work:
I didn’t make all of the events, I am pretty sure Jack Fishman might have, but know that it was wonderful to see alot of familiar folks at each of the events that I did go to, and new faces I had never seen at concerts before. One of the ideas behind the collaboration of arts organizations is to reach new audiences. I also think the Beethoven Festival created a great buzz around the city. Bravo to all who presented concerts and to everyone who attended. You can read about a lot of the concerts on Jack Fishman’s blog (, as well as reviews from Mike Greenburg ( Texas Public Radio has some great videos if you would like to relive the events ( or catch one you didn’t make them:
-host John Clare

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