Acclaimed pianist launches Perse Beethoven anniversary concert season
29 Jan 2020
Peter Donohoe CBE kicked off The Perse’s celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth with a wonderful concert in the Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre.
The internationally-renowned pianist performed four of the iconic composer’s piano sonatas, including the well-known Pathetique and Appassionata pieces, to a full house during a riveting and atmospheric recital.
His sensational performance marked the start of a season of concerts that will take place at The Perse throughout this year in which all 32 of Beethoven’s piano sonatas will be played to mark the composer’s birth in 1770.
Peter, who will be returning to The Perse in September to conclude the programme, said he was delighted to be involved in the event.
He said: “The Beethoven cycle is very familiar to me. I’ve played all 32 on 12 occasions across the decades. The first time I did the complete cycle was in 1991 and, as far as I’m concerned, it’s one of the ‘Everests’ to play. It’s almost like a proving exercise.
“They’re great pieces, there’s nothing to compare with Beethoven’s piano music. If you played this repertoire at any time it would still resonate, but the fact it’s the 250th anniversary of his birth is a great peg to hang this series of concerts on.
“This is also a terrific venue and the atmosphere is fantastic. This is a fun event for me and it’s good to be back in Cambridge at a new venue.”
The season of Beethoven piano sonata concerts continues with a free lunchtime recital by Perse music students and staff in the Lecture Theatre on 7 February at 1.15pm.