Why is Beethoven such a powerful force, hundreds of years after his death? Widely considered the greatest composer to have lived, Beethoven’s music evokes deep personal responses, and has inspired listeners for two centuries. On Sunday, November 12th at 5 pm at St. Paul’s Church on Calle Cardo, Nicholas Kitchen, revered violinist, will perform an all-Beethoven concert, focusing on some of his best known works.
Nicholas Kitchen’s eclectic musical interests inspired him to create the Borromeo String Quartet, a now world famous ensemble; Living Archive, a project documenting the nature of live music and living classical artists; and MusicKitchen, a program to promote creativity and inspire through music. Currently in Boston, he teaches at the New England Conservatory of Music. A great innovator and performer, he is captivating performer to hear and watch.
Ludwig van Beethoven was the predominant musical figure between the Classical and Romantic eras, establishing his name in music history as no one has since. Nicholas will perform several of his Sonatas for piano and violin. Rooted in the techniques of Hayden and Mozart, he superseded these delving into concepts of humanism and nationalism, inspired by the literary works of Goethe and Friedrich von Schiller, which he transformed into music of sublime meaning and in so doing brought musical enlightenment to the mysteries of life .
It’s commonly known that Beethoven was nearly deaf by the end of his life. Beginning in his twenties, his hearing loss led him from the spotlight of performance and conducting to composing in private, with many of his most admired works composed during the contemplative and serene period at the end of his life. Known as a virtuoso pianist, few realize that he was a skilled viola player as well, working with the finest group in Europe at the time, the Bonn Court Orchestra.
Beethoven dedicated many works to friends and patrons. His first three violin sonatas were dedicated to Antonio Salieri. Technically impressive and unusual in the equal emphasis of both piano and violin, these sonatas would not have fitted in well with the popular salon music of the time. He pushed the equality of the “duo sonata” a step farther in the Sonata in G Major, dedicated to friend and patron, Archduke Rudolph (as was the so-called "Archduke Trio".) At that time the piano was transitioning into our modern pianoforte and we will hear the wider dynamic range well illustrated by this work. This is all true of the famous and powerful Kreutzer Sonata, dedicated to Rodolphe Kreutzer, a fellow violinist who proved unable to meet the works' technical challenges. While modern violin students still battle to execute its complex etudes, this is one of Kitchen's favourite works and no violinist living plays it with more passion and virtuosity.
Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $300 and $400 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3; the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert 45 minutes before performance time.