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Beethoven: Innovator – a 250th celebration

Join The Arts Institute for an inspiring three-day festival in celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday. We invite you to explore some of his most innovative works with pianist Dr Robert Taub, Music Director, The Arts Institute, the Ruisi Quartet and composer Jonathan Dawe.

“Who makes the rules!” – Beethoven to his friend Ferdinand Ries when the latter questioned the parallel fifths in the String Quartet in C minor, Op.18 no.4.

In this special festival Robert and guest artists will perform works that Beethoven spent many years composing, and which challenged accepted expectations of audiences of his time. Listen as our internationally acclaimed performers animate the dancing black dots on the pages of some of Beethoven’s most personal and transcendent works.

As part of the festival we are also delighted to invite you to the world premiere of a new piece composed by Jonathan Dawe. Commissioned by The Arts Institute, Jonathan has selected Beethoven’s musical sketches for his last String Quartet, Op.135, and created a new composition for string quartet that brings these sketches to life through musical lenses of our 21st Century.

An unceasing innovator, Beethoven was never content to conform to expected norms of musical composition. He led the vanguard of new music. Driven obsessively by his compelling artistic vision and his belief that creativity is the highest aspiration of mankind, Beethoven sought an all-embracing musical continuum. His ever-expanding concepts of musical perception, perhaps partially engendered by his deafness, enabled him to pursue his Inner Ear unencumbered by pre-conceived limitations of the possible.

Beethoven’s music burst upon the musical world, changing it forevermore. His 32 piano sonatas, the earliest of which he wrote as vehicles for himself as both composer and pianist, were his most immediate and intimate crucible of musical experimentation. He forced forward demands placed upon pianists, upon pianos themselves, and upon listeners. His 16 string quartets often took these experiments of musical perception to further new levels, which in turn were further refined in his nine symphonies.

“Much of Beethoven’s music was revolutionary. It can sound new and innovative today if we immerse ourselves in understanding how his music was created and why, and then play his works as if the ink is barely dry on the pages. That is what we will do.” – Dr Robert Taub.

With support from Fidelio Charitable Trust.

30 September, 19:30 – Public Lecture Demonstration: Beethoven and his Sketchbook
“Beethoven – Adventurous, Heroic, Transcendent”
An informal lecture and music demonstration led by Jonathan Dawe, composer and Robert Taub, pianist.

1 October, 19:30 – Concert: Beethoven Piano Sonatas
Piano Sonata Op.2 no.1
Piano Sonata Op.53 Waldstein
Piano Sonata Op.111
Dr Robert Taub, piano

2 October, 19:30 – Concert: Ruisi Quartet
Beethoven String Quartets Op.59 no.1
Jonathan Dawe, world premiere, based on Beethoven’s sketches for Op. 135
Beethoven String Quartets Op. 135
Alessandro Ruisi, violin; Oliver Cave, violin; Luba Tunnicliffe, viola; Max Ruisi, cello

30th September – 2nd October 2021

Upcoming events

Thursday, May 30
At The Box Plymouth this winter season
Thursday, May 30
Sea Shanties and Pasties! (1)
A heady mix of cutting-edge performances showcasing spontaneity, poetic visions, absurd electronics, fetish, grief and embodied expressions of resistance.
Thursday, May 30
Dylan Harvey, a soon-to-be graduate theatre director from Plymouth Conservatoire showcases his end-of-degree production.
Friday, May 31
Untitled design (26)
Led by Sonia Sabri herself, a multi-award-winning dance artist, choreographer and movement director and Artistic Director of Sonia Sabri Company.

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