In celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, Jill Richards and Waldo Alexander present three of his Sonatas for Piano and Violin. This concert includes the joyous Spring sonata, the First Sonata in D Major, and the legendary Kreutzer sonata. Beethoven arrived in Vienna in 1792, where he studied with Haydn and Salieri, among others. His reputation as a virtuoso pianist was quickly established, and he also studied the violin. He wrote his first violin sonatas, a set of three (Op. 12) in 1797-98; six more were completed by early 1803, a fairly short time span. Beethoven was to write just one more sonata, in 1812. Both the violin and piano were undergoing tremendous changes at the time. The piano’s range and sonority increased in response to a need for more power and a more sustained sound. Violins also underwent changes in construction, with higher bridges, longer necks, fingerboards and strings. These changes meant that Beethoven made steadily increasing technical and expressive demands on both instruments, resulting in a deeply satisfying musical experience for both the modern performer and the listener.
Piano: Jill Richards
Violin: Waldo Alexander
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Jill Richards is a soloist and chamber musician, and collaborates with visual artists, dancers and actors. She has worked extensively with composer Kevin Volans, who has written many solo works as well as piano duos for her. These she has performed with the composer as partner. Jill has also worked with Francisco Lopez, Jörg Schäffer, François Sarhan, Rudiger Meyer, Clare Loveday, and many others. She has performed and been broadcast around the world, and has released five CDs. Jill is a Steinway artist.
Waldo Alexander is a session musician and freelance violinist, based in Johannesburg. His musical activities spread across several genres and disciplines, focusing predominantly on New Music, experimental collaborations with numerous established and emerging composers, artists and dancers, both locally and abroad. He has worked extensively with William Kentridge on numerous productions, which tour globally. Waldo has been active as a recording artist, composer, arranger and co-producer for the past 26 years.