2020: The year of Beethoven

Interview with Louis Lortie

In 2020, the Music Chapel dedicates a concert cycle to Ludwig van Beethoven!

To start it right, the Chapel’s celebrations of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday will begin on January 22 and January 24 with the two first concerts of Louis Lortie’s cycle of the complete piano sonatas. The first part of the complete Symphonies of Beethoven transcribed by Liszt will also be presented by Josquin Otal & Djordje Radevski, both pianist in residence and students of Louis Lortie, on January 23.

To keep you waiting, here’s a little interview of Louis Lortie about this great project…

You will present to the audience of the Chapel the complete piano sonatas in 2020. How did you come up with the idea and why bring it to life at the Music Chapel?

I had my first great contact with Beethoven at the age of 10 on his 200th birthday.
I had acquired several publications and I had gotten into some serious work on his entire piano pieces. I already produced a complete set of the sonatas and the chamber music pieces, so I had to take my flight from higher up this time….

What do those works mean to you? 
These are 32 TOTAL reinventions of the sonata gender and form in one of the most important evolutions of human genius.

The pianist in residence of your section will also perform the complete symphonies of Beethoven transcribed by Liszt. Why was it important to you to include young artists in this project? 

I think they are exactly at the age where they have the audacity to face those spiritual but also very physical challenges, for which they probably won’t have the same abilities later on.

What do you think a project of this magnitude can bring to your students?
A great fulfillment in the ability to recreate the strength of the orchestra but also to convince that these works keep all their strength in this refined version.

In what way is the Musical Chapel project close to your heart?
For me, this is a huge EUROPEAN dialogue.
The kids in my class are traveling around the vast territory from France to Turkey, where a particular dialectic for each of them is carved out of a common inheritance, which is 
constantly questioning deep values of this sustainability.

Interview by Laure Raimondi (15.11.19)