Beethoven Festival this weekend
This Saturday, June 16, the Armidale Uniting Church will host a symphony of music by Ludwig van Beethoven by Armidale musicians of all ages and levels.
The Armidale Beethoven Festival will include a piano concerto, violin and piano sonatas, string quartets, piano and string trios, choral music, song and even opera.
The Festival is an initiative of former UNE Music lecturer Dr Jan-Piet Knijff to celebrate one year of Jan-Pietâ€™s Choice, Jan-Pietâ€™s weekly music outreach program on Wednesdays at noon in the Uniting Church.
â€œIn Jan-Pietâ€™s Choice, Iâ€™ve tried to make music with as many musicians in the community as I could,â€ said Jan-Piet
â€œAt the same time, I talk about the music weâ€™re playing; itâ€™s a kind of very free-spirited lecture-recital. The regulars tell me they listen to music very differently and get much more out of it.
â€œAlthough I wonâ€™t be doing nearly as much talking at the Beethoven Festival, my idea really was to bring as many Armidale musicians together as we could to honour this fantastic composer. In my view, itâ€™s really not so much about perfect performances; far more important for me is the sense of strengthening our community through music.â€
There will be a selection of high-calibre performances this Saturday. The Armidale Piano Duo, which won popular acclaim at the Bach Festival with their performances of two Brandenburg Concertos, will play the First Symphony and Fourth Piano Concerto. A brand new quartet of Armidale string teachers, Communal Mind, as well as the outstanding PLC String Quartet, will play.
The Armidale Choral Society comes by to sing sacred music by Beethoven. In Peter Corneliusâ€™ â€˜Beethoven Songâ€™, the composer himself is portrayed as the evangelist of German music! There will be a mini-organ crawl with Armidale organists featuring an organ duet by Beethovenâ€™s teacher Albrechtsberger. Some of the finest Armidale singers present Lieder, folksongs and selections from Beethovenâ€™s only opera, Fidelio. In a special midday concert, young musicians from the region play some of Beethovenâ€™s most famous pieces (including the ever-green FÃ¼r Elise).
Jan-Piet will have a busy day playing the piano and organ, conducting, and singing. â€œYes, Iâ€™ll be doing a lot, although a number of pianists and organist colleagues are performing as well,â€ said Jan-Piet
â€œOne of the things I look most forward to is playing with the kids.â€