Over 40 pieces have been performed since January or are scheduled for performance and many more are in the planning stage. The Beethoven2020 festival is therefore a great way to explore Beethoven’s repertoire. In addition to some big orchestral pieces, there are performances of the Mass in C, the Missa Solemnis, and the Choral Fantasia along with all of the string quartets, violin sonatas, cello sonatas, piano trios, other chamber pieces, and Beethoven’s own folk-song arrangements. Events are constantly being added so do check in regularly.
As well as concerts by professional artists, most of whom have links with Cambridge, the Festival includes performances by musical groups from Cambridge colleges, churches, the town and surrounding villages and is therefore a truly Cambridge-wide celebration. A very special feature of this Festival is that over 80% of the performances will be by students, amateur musicians and singers: this is a Festival for everyone, not just for professionals.
There is a competition for students of composition with the winning pieces to be performed in March 2020.
Alongside performances of the violin sonatas, there will be companion pieces composed in 2015 as part of the Beethoven Plus programme.
Finally, a piece composed by Michael Boyle, the CUMS Composer in Residence, will be performed at West Road on May 2nd.
King’s College Library, the Rowe Music Library and the Fitzwilliam Museum will be displaying manuscripts, letters, articles and first and second editions of music by Beethoven throughout 2020.
Stand-alone lectures and pre-concert talks will be given by scholars and experts in German studies; German and Viennese history; the music of Beethoven, his contemporaries and those who influenced him. In the planning stage are events based around the poetry used by Beethoven in his songs, and poetry and rap inspired by Beethoven.
A one-day conference on the Missa Solemnis will be held in November to coincide with the performance in the chapel of the Missa Solemnis. The conference will be attended by internationally renowned Beethoven scholars.