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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
  • ZH Zankel Hall
  • SA/PS Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
  • REW Resnick Education Wing
  • WRH Weill Recital Hall

Kristian Bezuidenhout

Monday, October 24, 2016 7:30 PM Zankel Hall
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The Times (London) has called Kristian Bezuidenhout “… the most brilliant of today’s fortepiano players.” He gives modern audiences an opportunity to hear Haydn's and Beethoven’s piano sonatas on the fortepiano as the masters might have heard them. Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 7 opens with playful high spirits, but takes a tragic tone in its devastating Largo, before soothing the spirit with a refined Minuet and good-natured Rondo finale. The “Pathétique” Sonata needs little introduction. Emotion dominates this work that opens the door to Romanticism with a hitherto unheard intensity.

Part of Mix and Mingle.


Kristian Bezuidenhout, Fortepiano


BEETHOVEN Rondo in C Major, Op. 51, No. 1
BEETHOVEN Rondo in G Major, Op. 51, No. 2
BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No. 7 in D Major, Op. 10, No. 3
HAYDN Variations in F Minor, Hob. XVII: 6
BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 13, "Pathétique"

BEETHOVEN Largo con gran espressione from Piano Sonata No. 4 in E-flat Major, Op. 7

Event Duration

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

At a Glance

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Rondo in C Major, Op. 51, No. 1; Rondo in G Major, Op. 51, No. 2

Like the two sonatas on tonight’s program, the two rondos of Op. 51 were written in the late 1790s, when Beethoven was slowly but surely transforming himself from a fire-breathing keyboard virtuoso to an impetuous but no-less-bold composer. Both pieces are characterized by imaginative harmonies, figurations, and sonorities.

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Piano Sonata No. 7 in D Major, Op. 10, No. 3

The early D-Major Sonata anticipates Beethoven’s later tonal experiments in its searching harmonies, vivid dramatic contrasts, and dynamic energy. Its centerpiece is a tragic and achingly beautiful slow movement in D minor, but the outer two fast movements are equally notable for their compressed energy and adventurous spirit. 

JOSEPH HAYDN  Variations in F Minor, Hob. XVII: 6

Short on length but long on inspiration, this masterful set of double variations draws comparisons to Bach’s great Goldberg Variations and Beethoven’s Diabelli set. Haydn wrote the set in 1793, between his two extended stays in London, where he fell in love with the robust sound of the Broadwood piano.

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 13, “Pathétique”

The “Pathétique” Sonata both dazzled and perplexed contemporary audiences with its explosive dramatics and expressive economy. The music’s tragic mood—commonly rendered in the key of C minor at the end of the 18th century—led Beethoven’s publisher to issue it under the programmatic title “Grande Sonate Pathétique.”


Kristian Bezuidenhout

Kristian Bezuidenhout is one of today's most notable and exciting keyboard artists, equally at home on the harpsichord, fortepiano, and modern piano. Born in South Africa in 1979, he began his studies in Australia, completed them at the Eastman School of Music, and now lives in London. After initial training as a pianist with Rebecca Penneys, Mr. Bezuidenhout explored early keyboards, studying harpsichord with Arthur Haas, fortepiano with Malcolm Bilson, and continuo playing and performance practice with Paul O'Dette. He first gained international recognition at the age of 21 after winning the prestigious first prize and audience prize in the fortepiano competition at the annual Musica Antiqua Festival in Bruges, Belgium.

Mr. Bezuidenhout is a regular guest with the world's leading ensembles, including the Freiburger Barockorchester, Les Arts Florissants, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. From the keyboard, he has guest directed The English Concert, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Tafelmusik, Collegium Vocale Gent, Juilliard415, and the orchestra of the Kammerakademie Potsdam. He has also performed with celebrated artists who include Frans Brüggen, Trevor Pinnock, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Isabelle Faust, Alina Ibragimova, Rachel Podger, Carolyn Sampson, Anne Sofie von Otter, and Matthias Goerne.

Mr. Bezuidenhout's award-winning discography on Harmonia Mundi includes the complete keyboard music of Mozart, which was awarded the Diapason d'Or de l'Année, Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, and Caecilia Prize; Mozart violin sonatas with Petra Müllejans; Mendelssohn and Mozart piano concertos with the Freiburger Barockorchester, the latter winning an ECHO Klassik Award; Beethoven and Mozart lieder, and Schumann's Dichterliebe with Mark Padmore. In 2013, he was nominated as Gramophone magazine's Artist of the Year.

In the 2016-2017 season, Mr. Bezuidenhout performs fortepiano concertos with the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and Sir John Eliot Gardiner; Orchestre des Champs-Élysées and Philippe Herreweghe; and Il Giardino Armonico and Giovanni Antonini. As harpsichord soloist, he performs concertos by Bach with Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohen. On modern piano, he appears with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Bernard Haitink; Amsterdam Sinfonietta and Jan Willem de Vriend; Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Bernard Labadie; Australian Chamber Orchestra and Richard Tognetti; and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Richard Egarr. 

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