Performance Tuesday, March 10, 2015 | 8 PM

Sir András Schiff

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Sir András Schiff explores the fascinating final sonatas of four great masters. Haydn’s C-Major Sonata, an extraordinarily playful work written during his second visit to London, takes advantage of the innovations that English piano makers achieved by extending the range of the instrument. Mozart’s C-Major Sonata, featuring the delicate “In an 18th-Century Drawing Room” theme, is an enduring favorite. But Beethoven slammed the door on the drawing room with late piano sonatas like his daring Sonata No. 30, while Schubert’s C-Minor Sonata is one of his most dramatic works.


  • Sir András Schiff, Piano


  • HAYDN Piano Sonata in C Major, Hob. XVI: 50
  • BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109
  • MOZART Piano Sonata in C Major, K. 545
  • SCHUBERT Piano Sonata in C Minor, D. 958

  • Encores:
  • SCHUBERT Impromptu in G-flat Major, D. 899, No. 3
  • SCHUBERT Moment musical in F Minor, D. 780, No. 3
  • BEETHOVEN Bagatelle in E-flat Major, Op. 126, No. 6

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.


  • Sir András Schiff  

    Renowned and acclaimed as a pianist, conductor, pedagogue, and lecturer, Sir András Schiff was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1953. Having recently completed The Bach Project throughout the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 concert seasons, he next performs The Last Sonatas, a series of recitals comprising the final three sonatas of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. The Last Sonatas takes place over the course of the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons, with the complete series slated for Carnegie Hall, San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall, Los Angeles's Walt Disney Concert Hall, Chicago's Symphony Center, Maryland's Strathmore Hall, Vancouver Recital Society, and the University of Michigan's University Musical Society.

    As pedagogue, he partners with 92nd Street Y and SubCulture for Sir András Schiff Selects: Young Pianists, a three-concert series in February and March curated by Mr. Schiff that introduces rising young pianists Kuok-Wai Lio, Roman Rabinovich, and Adam Golka.

    Mr. Schiff has built a prolific discography and since 1997 has been an exclusive artist for ECM New Series. Recordings for ECM include the complete solo piano music of Beethoven and Janáček; two solo albums of Schumann piano pieces; and his second recordings of Bach's partitas, Goldberg Variations, and The Well-Tempered Clavier. An all-Schubert disc featuring the B-flat Major and G-Major piano sonatas, D. 960 and D. 894, respectively; Moments musicaux, D. 780; and Impromptus, D. 935, is slated to be released in fall 2015.

    Mr. Schiff has been awarded numerous international prizes, and his relationship with publisher G. Henle continues over the next few years with a joint edition of Mozart's piano concertos and both volumes of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier. He is an honorary member of the Beethoven House in Bonn in recognition of his interpretations of Beethoven's works; has received the Wigmore Hall Medal in appreciation of 30 years of music making at that venue and the Mozart Medal by the Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum; and was made a member of honor of Vienna's Konzerthaus. He was given the Royal Philharmonic Society's Gold Medal and has received honorary degrees from the University of Leeds and music schools in Budapest, Detmold, and Munich. In June 2014, he wasawarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II.

    More Info


Haydn's Piano Sonata No. 60 in C Major (Allegro molto)
András Schiff, Piano

At a Glance

JOSEPH HAYDN  Piano Sonata in C Major, Hob. XVI: 50

Although most concertgoers more readily associate Haydn with symphonies and string quartets than with keyboard music, he composed dozens of masterful sonatas and other works for both harpsichord and piano throughout his career. Written in the mid-1790s, this exuberant showpiece—one of Haydn’s last keyboard sonatas—highlights the bold sonorities of the Broadwood pianos that Haydn heard in London.

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Piano Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109

Beethoven’s earliest piano sonatas followed hard on the heels of his Op. 1 piano trios, in which the 26-year-old composer declared his artistic independence from his mentor Haydn. By the time he wrote the last of his 32 sonatas in the early 1820s, he was no longer a young lion but a battle-scarred warrior; his indomitable spirit shines through in the incandescent slow movement of the E-Major Sonata.

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART  Piano Sonata in C Major, K. 545

Mozart described this lighthearted and deceptively simple work as “a little piano sonata for beginners.” Eschewing the virtuosity that characterizes the many piano concertos he wrote in the 1780s, he adopted a more straightforward and transparently textured style of expression that makes comparatively modest demands on the performer, but yields rich pleasures for the listener.

FRANZ SCHUBERT  Piano Sonata in C Minor, D. 958

Schubert’s last three piano sonatas, composed in the months leading up to his untimely death, are notable for the grandeur of their conception, the richness and complexity of their tonal relationships, and the intricate interweaving of lyricism and drama. The powerful and highly virtuosic C-Minor Sonata exploits the rich, clear, evenly balanced sound characteristic of the Viennese pianos that Schubert played.

Program Notes
Public support for Carnegie Hall Live is made possible, in part, by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.
This performance is part of Great Artists I, and Midweek Piano Trio.

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