Oakland University’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance will celebrate the music, humanity and legacy of Ludwig van Beethoven by presenting his 32 sonatas in a 10-concert series starting Oct. 13, 2019 and ending on the composer’s 250th birthday on Dec. 20, 2020.

The Beethoven Monument on the Munsterplatz in Bonn, Germany

“Beethoven was one of the most influential composers in western history,” said Tian Tian, associate professor of music at OU. “This project, presenting the complete piano sonatas in celebration of his 250th birthday, will give us a chance to explore Beethoven’s musical development as a composer, as well as gain a better understanding of Beethoven as a human being.”

In the opening concert of the series at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 13 in Varner Recital Hall, OU piano faculty will play representative works from each of Beethoven’s three major periods: Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, “Pathétique” (I-Chen Yeh); Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53, “Waldstein” (Tian Tian); and Piano Sonata No. 31 in A-flat major, Op. 110 (Rebecca Happel).

Additional performances occur throughout southeast Michigan, including the following at OU:

• Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019 at 3 p.m. in Varner Recital Hall: In the second concert of the series, OU piano students will perform Piano Sonata No. 6 in F major, Op. 10, No. 2 (Caleb Wayman); Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor “Quasi una fantasia,” Op. 27, No. 2, “Moonlight Sonata” (Elizabeth Heilig); and Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57, “Appassionata” (Bryce Dudal).

• Monday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Varner Recital Hall: Steinway artist Jerry Wong will perform Piano Sonata No. 18 in E-flat major, Op. 31, No. 3 and other works.

• Sunday, March 22 at 3 p.m. in Varner Recital Hall: In the fifth concert of the series, OU piano alumni will perform Piano Sonata No. 3 in C major, Op. 2 (Joe Walters); Piano Sonata No. 22 in F major, Op. 54 (Josh Kolpak); and Piano Sonata No. 28 in A major, Op. 101 (Alex Kopitz).

• Saturday, April 18 at 8 p.m. in Varner Recital Hall: This lecture/recital will feature the simpler Beethoven works such as Piano Sonata No. 20 in G major, Op. 49, No. 2 and Piano Sonata No. 9 in E major, Op. 14, No. 1.

All concerts are sponsored by The Judd Family Endowed Fund and admission is free.

For more information, visit oakland.edu/smtd or contact the School of Music, Theatre and Dance at (248) 370-2030 or smtd@oakland.edu.