CELEBRATING BEETHOVEN’S BIRTHDAY

Are you planning on celebrating Beethoven’s 250th birthday on or around Wednesday, December 16th 2020? I am holding my annual Christmas Piano Party on that date, and we are going to be singing Happy Birthday to the great man. Such an important composer deserves to be celebrated on this big birthday.

celebrating Beethoven's birthday

There were many concerts planned across the world in 2020 to celebrate his birthday. Sadly, nearly all have been cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic. However, a plethora of resources are available online, and we really are spoilt for choice.

So we’ve put together a shortlist of some of our favourite resources so that we can all be celebrating Beethoven’s birthday over the coming week.

TO DISCOVER

Faber Piano Adventures – 8 biographical stories with search and discover activities

This is an amazing resource from the Faber Piano Adventures group?? Easy to read and with attractive graphics children will find the stories and activities highly engaging.

Beethoven Discovery Workbook

This discovery workbook is suitable for Late Elementary/Grade 2 students. As well as Ode to Joy, it also introduces them to one of the Ecossaises. This comes with a Studio Licence.

TO WATCH

How to sound like Beethoven

Pianist Nahre Sol studies Beethoven’s use of sonata form, motivic development and rhetoric. A short, clear and highly accessible video.

Beethoven’s 5th – animation by DoodleChaos

Many of you will already be familiar with this masterful and musical animation of the first movement of the Fifth Symphony.

TO CREATE

Beethoven Remixed

The BBC have really been busy this year with creating high-quality resources. This is another fabulous resource which allows students to download, edit, loop, play and remix Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. A whole series of videos guides those with a creative bent through the process.

TO LISTEN

Beethoven Unleashed

BBC Radio 4 have been focussing throughout 2020 on Beethoven, his life and music, in their series Composer of the Week. Introduced by Donald Macleod and featuring a wide selection of Beethoven specialists, each podcast is a fascinating mine of information. Did you know, for example, that Beethoven’s friends used to creep into his house at night and leave him with a fresh set of clothes? Beethoven was so unconcerned with his apparel he never even noticed! Here’s a link to the interview with Angela Hewitt discussing five of the piano sonatas.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS

TO READ

Beethoven in Nine Pieces by Laura Tunbridge.

This is a fascinating read with nine of Beethoven’s pieces selected giving insights into different periods of his life and compositions. A Curious Book Club book of the month quite recently it reveals a fresh perspective on the composer.

Beethoven’s 32 Piano Sonatas – Stewart Gordon, OUP

The Creation of Beethoven’s 35 Piano Sonatas – Barry Cooper. Ashgate Historical Keyboard Series

Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas – Charles Rosen, Yale University Press.

Beethoven’s piano sonatas are core works for any advanced level pianist. These three books all provide their own unique interpretation of these magnificent pieces.

CELEBRATING BEETHOVEN’S BIRTHDAY

These are just a handful of our favourite resources. We are sure you have more of your own which we’d love you to share in the comments below.

Our thanks to Dr Kris Worsley and the Art of Piano Pedagogy Beethoven’s Birthday Countdown group for the inspiration!

This blog post was written by Dr Sally Cathcart, co-founder and Director of The Curious Piano Teachers. 

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