Beethoven and the Violin (22/26/29th October 2020)

Peter Sheppard Skaerved

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Recordings are available in your account for 30 days from purchase date (or 30 days from class date if you attended live).

Beethoven and the Violin

It is easy to forget that Beethoven began his professional life as a string player, working in the Bonn Electoral orchestra, justly celebrated as one of the greatest of its day. Throughout his life, his relationship with the violin remained a tactile one – his vision of the instrument was from the inside. This set of talks will explore aspects of this relationship. Peter’s recordings of the complete Beethoven Sonatas are critically acclaimed, and he was giving a lecture recital on Beethoven at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City when lockdown was imposed this Spring. The talks will focus on three areas.

Thursday 22nd October

1. Beethoven the violinist

What do we know of Beethoven’s early violin studies with Franz Ries, in Bonn? How was he taught? What impact did those early lessons have on his later work as a teacher? Who were his colleagues and collaborators prior to his departure for Vienna at the end of 1792, and how did they influence his later work and thinking?

Monday 26th October

2. Beethoven the collaborator

i. Working with Schuppanzigh

As soon as Beethoven arrived in Vienna, he sought out teachers – Albrechtsberger for counterpoint, Salieri for vocal writing, and Ignaz von Schuppanzigh for the violin. This developed into one of the most fruitful composer-performer collaborations. Where can we see them ‘at work’? How do we open the door of their ‘composer’s workshop’? With a particularly focus on the Op 30 Sonatas for Piano with violin accompaniment.

Thursday 29th October

3. Beethoven the collaborator

ii. Working with Bridgetower, Rode, Kreutzer

As well as his long collaboration with Schuppanzigh, Beethoven was profoundly affected by the foreign virtuosi who visited Vienna. Each of them made an impact on his writing and affected his thinking about music. What ideas did they bring to him, about violin technique, and different approaches to music-making? These talks, illustrated, at the violin, as always, will be of interest to both the general audience and specialists. They are always followed by 30 minutes of discussion; the fascinating ideas which participants often bring are incorporated into the development of the subsequent presentations.


Classes held via zoom, limited to small numbers. This event has multiple classes. Missed a class? You can still purchase a ticket to access the recording.

All times are displayed in your timezone: America/New_York Edit Timezone

All sessions: €60.00 Individual sessions: €24.50