CLASSICS AT GREYFRIARS: BEETHOVEN CONCERT SERIES
THE COMPLETE PIANO SONATAS & STRING QUARTETS
LLŶR WILLIAMS, piano
THE HEATH QUARTET
12 - 26 August 2011
Exciting new concert series this summer at Greyfriars Tolbooth and Highland Kirk, Edinburgh
Greyfriars Kirk is delighted to announce an exciting new concert series taking place this summer. For the first time, one of Edinburgh’s most famous churches, Greyfriars Tolbooth and Highland Kirk, is the setting for epic performances of all of Beethoven String Quartets and Piano Sonatas. From 12 - 26 August 2011, the acclaimed pianist Llŷr Williams and the outstanding Heath Quartet will perform the complete works over twenty-two concerts.
One of the UK’s finest, internationally acclaimed pianists, Llŷr Williams, gives twelve concerts of all Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas. He combines the well and less-well known in each performance and begins his journey with the Pathétique and ends with the Hammerklavier, two of Beethoven’s most famous Piano Sonatas. Llŷr’s performance, understanding and approach of Beethoven has gained high critical praise and he is already well-known to Scottish audiences. The piano cycle concerts take place at 5.45pm.
The Heath Quartet, who are rapidly establishing themselves as one of the most outstanding quartets of their generation, give late night performances at 10.30pm over ten concerts. Their journey opens and concludes with one of the late Quartets, Op 130, with the first concert featuring the revised final movement, and the final concert with the original Grosse Fuge movement which was published separately as Op.133.
Beethoven’s String Quartets and Piano Sonatas are awe-inspiring works, and are some of the most powerful compositions of their forms ever written. Beethoven composed them throughout his life, reflecting his thought process over the years. The later piano sonatas and quartets are among the last music he wrote and present some of his most revolutionary musical ideas. Indeed, whereas earlier compositions such as the Appassionata Sonata were instantly much admired by audiences of the day, some of Beethoven’s later sonatas and quartets were found very difficult but as time has moved on, they have emerged as among the most acclaimed musical masterpieces ever written.
Development and Operations Manager of Greyfriars Kirk, Steve Wilson, heads the project: “These Beethoven Cycles are one of the most exciting series of concerts to take place at Greyfriars. We are honoured not only to welcome performers of such high calibre but to present such magnificent music in our wonderful, historic setting so suited to music. The idea to promote our own concert programme during the Festival began in July last year and I am delighted for the input from my friend James Waters whose expertise in the classical genre has been invaluable in planning the programme. The income we hope to generate from promoting this concert series will go directly to support the inspiring work undertaken by the Kirk. We are extremely grateful to the Binks Trust for their support.”
Greyfriars Kirk is an established music venue in Edinburgh, hosting some sixty to seventy concerts a year when it is hired as a venue by visiting orchestras, choirs and soloists. The Beethoven concerts mark the first time in many years that Greyfriars has promoted its own concerts. The concerts are promoted by Greyfriars Outreach Ltd with support from the Binks Trust.
Greyfriars’ Visitor Centre attracts some twenty to twenty-five thousand local and international visitors a year. Its rich heritage boasting such historic events as being the first church built in Edinburgh after the Reformation, the signing of the Deed of Convenant in 1638, and the display of an American flag that once hung in the Whitehouse. The flag was gifted to the church and recalls that the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers in the New World and the opening of Greyfriars took place on the same day: Christmas Day 1620. One of its stories has become world-renowned and even the subject of a film: Greyfriars Bobby, the little dog who waited by his master’s grave for years and whose statue sits opposite the church gates on the fountain Candlemaker’s Row.
Greyfriars is an active Church of Scotland, home to the congregation of Greyfriars Tolbooth and Highland and stands on grounds that, from the 11th century, had belonged to the Franciscan convent in the Grassmarket, hence the name Greyfriars.
Beethoven Piano Sonatas: 5.45pm, Llŷr Williams
Fri 12 August Op 2 No 1; Op 14 No 2; Op 13 Pathetique
Sat 13 August Op 2 No 2; Op 79; Op 109
Mon 15 August Op 2 No 3; Op 28 Pastoral
Tue 16 August Op 10 Nos 1, 2 & 3
Wed 17 August Op 26; Op 49 No 2; Op 110
Thur 18 August Op 22; Op 27 Nos 1 & 2
Fri 19 August Op 31 No 1; Op 14 No 1; Op 101
Mon 22 August Op 31 No 2; Op 53 Waldstein
Tue 23 August Op 31 No 3; Op 49 No 1; Op 57
Wed 24 August Op 81 Les Adieux; Op 78; Op 7
Thur 25 August Op 54, Op 90, Op 111
Fri 26 August Op. 106 Hammerklavier
Beethoven String Quartets: 10.30pm, The Heath Quartet
Fri 12 August Op 130 in Bb
Sat 13 August Op 18 No 1 in F; Op 127 Eb
Mon 15 August Op 18 No 2 in G; Op 95 F minor
Tue 16 August Op 18 No 3 in D; Op 74 in Eb
Thu 18 August Op 132 in A minor
Fri 19 August Op 18 No 4 in C minor; Op 59 No 3 in C major
Mon 22 August Op 18 No 5 in A major; Op 59 No 2 in E minor
Tue 23 August Op 18 No 6 in Bb; Op 59 No 1 in F
Thu 25 August Op 131 C# minor; Op 135 in F
Fri 26 August Op 130; Op 133
Each concert is approximately one hour long
20% discount for all 10 String Quartets or all 12 Piano Sonatas when you book before 1 May 2011
£14 for young people under 16
Queen’s Hall Box Office
85 - 89 Clerk Street
Edinburgh, EH8 9JG
0131 668 2019
Also available from the
Fringe Box Office from June 2011:
0131 226 0000
Greyfriars Tolbooth & Highland Kirk
Edinburgh, EH1 2QQ
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