Beethoven key to piano quest
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.ticketmaster.com.au.