Beethoven key to pi­ano quest

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Music - Tanya Macnaughton

OR­GAN­IS­ING 23 pi­anists to play all 32 Beethoven sonatas in one day has been one of the more dif­fi­cult chal­lenges for Gov­ern­ment House Ball­room artis­tic di­rec­tor and Shen­ton Park pi­anist Mark Cough­lan.

“Nor­mally when you put on a con­cert, you’ll work with five or six peo­ple, but co-or­di­nat­ing with 23 pi­anists from around the coun­try has been a task,” Cough­lan said.

“I also had to al­lo­cate who was go­ing to play which sonata and that’s like putting an in­cred­i­ble crossword puz­zle to­gether, but we got there in the end.”

A first for Perth, the Beethoven Marathon will be held at Gov­ern­ment House Ball­room on Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 12 from 9am un­til 10.30pm, with a 20-minute break be­tween each of the seven ses­sions where re­fresh­ments will be avail­able.

Cough­lan will play two sonatas, joined by 11-year-old pi­ano prodigy Shuan Hern Lee and ex­pe­ri­enced se­nior pi­anist Lyn Gar­land, of Ned­lands.

“Beethoven’s sonatas changed the course of mu­sic,” Cough­lan said.

“He started writ­ing them in 1795 when mu­sic was very much in what we call the clas­si­cal pe­riod, with com­posers like Haydn, and Mozart had only just died.

“The sonatas span that tran- sition from clas­si­cism into ro­man­ti­cism, and of course by the end, he was to­tally deaf.

“He changed mu­sic his­tory over those 27 years and I think hear­ing them from start to fin­ish is an amaz­ing jour­ney.”

Sin­gle-ses­sion and day passes are avail­able for the event, which Cough­lan said had been de­signed as au­di­ence-friendly.

“It’s a fas­ci­nat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to hear how dif­fer­ent pi­anists make dif­fer­ent sounds on the same pi­ano,” he said. “If peo­ple feel they need a break, they can, but I think they’ll get hooked.”

Tick­ets are avail­able www.tick­et­mas­


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