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Kovacevich Plays Opus 111 and Teaches Opus 90

Stephen Kovacevich (born 1940), who has also been known as Stephen Bishop and Stephen Bishop-Kovacevich is an American classical pianist and conductor. He was born in San Pedro, Los Angeles, California, to a Croatian father and an American mother.
He made his concert debut as a pianist at the age of 11; then, at the age of 18 he moved to London to study under Dame Myra Hess on a scholarship, and has been a London resident ever since, and is currently living in Hampstead.

As a soloist and conductor, he is probably best known for his interpretations of the core classical repertoire, including Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and BartĂłk. His international reputation has been built both on his concert appearances, renowned for their thoughtfulness and re-creative intensity, and on the highly acclaimed recordings he has made throughout his career.

In addition to his solo work, Stephen Kovacevich enjoys good relations with orchestras as a conductor and by directing from the piano. He has directed the London Mozart Players, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in this way. His chamber music partners have included Jacqueline du Pré, Martha Argerich, Steven Isserlis, Nigel Kennedy, Lynn Harrell, Sarah Chang, Gautier Capuçon, Renaud Capuçon, and Emmanuel Pahud.

Beethoven: Sonata no 32 in C Minor, Opus 111

Stephen Kovacevich performs the first movement of Beethoven Piano Sonata No.32 in C minor opus 111 at the La Roque d’AnthĂ©ron Festival in 2004.

Sheet music to download and print:

(free Silver Membership needed)

Watch the complete recital at Medici TV:
Beethoven – Two Sonatas (op 110 and op 111) and two Bagatelles
Schubert – Ländler

Schubert: Impromptu in G flat major, opus 90 no 3

Extract from Stephen Kovacevich’s masterclass on two of the Op 90 Schubert Impromptus. Full DVD will be shortly available from www.masterclassfoundation.org

Sheet music to download and print:

(Gold Membership needed)


Beethoven Variations – New Urtext and Recordings

Variation form was a central feature of Beethoven’s piano writing in general, from his early years until the end of his life.

The many witty transformations of popular tunes give us an insight in how it might have sounded when the young Beethoven sat down to improvise at the keyboard, while works like the Eroica- and Diabelli Variations belong to the composer’s mature masterworks.

32 Variations in C-minor as well as the Six Variations in G-major, both based on Beethoven’s original themes, are now available in new Urtext sheet music and recordings by David Wärn.

32 Variations in C minor by Beethoven

32 Variation in C minor by Beethoven

Six Easy Variations in G major by Beethoven

Six Easy Variations in G major by Beethoven


Beethoven, Barenboim and Lang Lang in Summit Meeting

“It is not just sound. The problem is that this content cannot be really be articulated in an objective, rational, scientific way — with words.
If it were possible to articulate it in an objective, rational, scientific way, the music would not be necessary.”

In the Masterclasses series with Daniel Barenboim, he speaks about what
it is and what it takes to truly play Beethoven. Lang Lang, a younger
colleague playing the Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Appassionata, gets
some intense advice on how to reflect on different interpretational aspects.

View or print the sheet music!

Beethoven - Appassionata (Piano Sonata opus 57) br / Piano Street Urtext - *NEW* improved version

Beethoven - Appassionata (Piano Sonata opus 57) ,
Piano Street Urtext - *NEW* improved version


Marathon Men – Two Complete Beethoven Sonatas Projects to Achieve Completion during 2009

Daniel Barenboim is not the only one to have successfully had the complete Beethoven sonatas on his agenda lately.

A Grammy nominee for “Best Classical Album (Without Orchestra)” for the second volume of his Complete Beethoven Sontata recordings for ECM, András Schiff began in 2004, a series of performances in Europe in which he explored the 32 Beethoven piano sonatas in chronological order – a project recorded live for ECM New Series, to be released in eight volumes in 2009. Garrick Ohlsson performed the whole cycle at eight concerts at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland in 2005 and at Tanglewood in 2006. He will release the last volume in his Beethoven series during 2009 on the Bridge label. Notably, volume three was awarded a Grammy for “Best Classical Instrumental Soloist (Without Orchestra )” in 2008.

András Schiff was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1953. He began piano lessons at the age of five with Elisabeth Vadász and continued his musical studies at the Ferenc Liszt Academy with Professor Pál Kadosa, György Kurtág and Ferenc Rados; he also studied with George Malcolm in London. Recitals and special projects take him to all of the international music capitals and include cycles of the major keyboard works of Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin and BartĂłk. Schiff has established a prolific discography, including recordings for Teldec (1994-1997), London/Decca (1981-1994) and, since 1997, ECM New Series. Recordings for ECM include the complete solo piano music of Beethoven and Janácek, a solo disc of Schumann piano pieces and his second recording of the Bach Goldberg Variations. He has received several international recording awards, including two Grammy Awards for “Best Classical Instrumental Soloist (Without Orchestra)” for the Bach English Suites, and “Best Vocal Recording” for Schubert’s Schwanengesang with tenor Peter Schreier.

Recital reviews – Schiff
The Independent: Beethoven Sonatas / Schiff, Wigmore Hall, London
The New York Times: Beethoven Sonatas, With Fire and Finesse

Schiff´s London lectures on Beethoven’s piano sonatas in May 2006 were exceptionally well received and sold out.
You can listen to them all here:
Introduction by Guardian
Schiff’s lectures on the 32 Sonatas by Beethoven

Since his triumph at the 1970 Chopin International Piano Competition, American pianist Garrick Ohlsson has become established worldwide as a musician of extraordinary interpretive power and prodigious technical facility.
Although he has long been regarded as one of the world´s leading exponents of the music of Chopin, Mr. Ohlsson has an enormous repertoire that encompasses virtually the entire piano literature. A student of the late Claudio Arrau, Mr. Ohlsson is noted for his masterly performances of the works of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, as well as the Romantic repertoire. Mr. Ohlsson’s concerto repertoire alone is unusually wide and eclectic, ranging from Haydn and Mozart to 20th-century masters, and to date he has at his command some 80 works for piano and orchestra.

Recital reviews – Ohlsson:
The New York Times: One Pianist, Two Sounds and a Single Composer
The Boston Globe: Marathon man

The New York Times asked Garrick Ohlsson to share his insights into Beethoven’s sonatas. In this series of features recorded in the WQXR studios, Mr. Ohlsson takes listeners on a journey through each of the sonatas, playing excerpts and talking about the music and the composer:
Garrick Ohlsson on Beethoven’s Sonatas


Dudley Moore – Beethoven?

Dudley Moore, was an English actor, comedian and musician. This video clip is from the 1950’s-60s British comedy group “Beyond the Fringe. Dudley Moore plays a very funny but also musically ambitious parody of a Beethoven piano sonata based on very odd yet well-known thematic material, the whistling tune from “Bridge Over the River Kwai”.

Want to play it yourself? Here is the score (download pdf):

Dudley Moore (1935–2002) first came to prominence as one of the four writer-performers in Beyond the Fringe in the early 1960s and became famous as half of the hugely popular television double-act he formed with Peter Cook.

His musical talent won him a scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford and whilst studying music and composition there, he performed with Alan Bennett in the Oxford Revue. Bennett then recommended him to the producer putting together Beyond the Fringe, a comedy revue, where he was to first meet Peter Cook. Beyond the Fringe was at the forefront of the 1960s satire boom and after enormous success in Britain, it transferred to the USA where it was also a major hit. His fame as a comedic actor was later heightened by his success in Hollywood movies such as 10 with Bo Derek and Arthur in the late 1970s and early 1980s, respectively.

Moore was nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award but lost to Henry Fonda (for On Golden Pond). He did, however, win a Golden Globe award for Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy. In 1984, Moore had another hit, starring in the Blake Edwards directed Micki + Maude, co-starring Amy Irving. This won him another Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy.

In addition to acting, Moore continued to work as a composer and pianist, writing scores for a number of films and giving piano concerts, which were highlighted by his popular parodies of classical favourites. In addition, Moore collaborated with the conductor Sir Georg Solti to create a 1991 television series, Orchestra!, which was designed to introduce audiences to the symphony orchestra. He later worked with the American conductor Michael Tilson Thomas on a similar television series from 1993, Concerto!, likewise designed to introduce audiences to classical music concertos.

In 1987, he was interviewed for the New York Times by the music critic Rena Fruchter, herself an accomplished pianist. They became close friends. At that time Moore’s film career was already on the wane. He was having trouble remembering his lines, a problem he had never previously encountered. He opted to concentrate on the piano, and enlisted Fruchter as an artistic partner. They performed as a duo in the U.S. and Australia. However, his disease soon started to make itself apparent there as well, as his fingers would not always do what he wanted them to do.

In June 2001, Moore was appointed a Commander of the Order of The British Empire (CBE). Despite his deteriorating condition, he attended the ceremony, mute and wheelchair-bound, at Buckingham Palace to collect his honour.


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