Most people wouldn’t associate Wilco with Ludwig van Beethoven. But that’s the genius of the Beethoven Festival: Love 2013. Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche is just one of the 100 performers who will participate in the nine-day extravaganza from September 7-15 featuring classical and contemporary music recitals, visual art exhibitions, performance and installation art, fashion shows, and more. The festival, led by the International Beethoven Project’s President and Artistic Director George Lepauw, celebrates the creativity and brilliance of Ludwig van Beethoven.
Some of the genre-bending musical selections during this year’s festival will include “Love Now” featuring Glenn Kotche performing his own cello/percussion piece with Jeff Ziegler; “All You Need Is Love” showcasing pianist Anthony Molinaro, Grammy Award-winning harmonicist Howard Levy, and the Prometheus Chamber Ensemble performing ranging from by J.S. Bach to the Beatles; and “Sound Love” featuring pianist Christopher O’Reilly cellist Matt Haimovitz playing arrangements of Radiohead and other rock favorites.
Other highlights will include the newly discovered Beethoven love song “Liebe” performed by tenor Dominic Armstrong and pianist George Lepauw, contemporary classical group Ensemble Dal Niente presenting the Chicago premiere of Hans Thomalla’s The Brightest Form of Absence; Rachel Monosov and Seppe Van den Berghe’s world premiere of “Stilte (Silence)” in which music becomes visible and images become sound; and the JACK Quartet with clarinetist Derek Bermel performing the U.S. premiere of Ari Streisfeld’s’s arrangement of Wolfgand von Schweinitz’s “Holy Howl”
Most events will take place at the Merit School of Music, 38 S. Peoria St., Chicago. Additional venues include the Sherwood Conservatory, 1312 S. Michigan Ave.; the Chicago Temple, 77 W. Washington St.; and the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. A one-day general admission pass is available for $30. The event is free for all students with ID at the door only, with proof of social media posting as well as for up to two children under the age of 18 accompanied by a paying adult. In addition, all performances on Sunday, September 15 at the Chicago Cultural Center are free.
For those with deeper pockets, VIP passes will provide prime reserved seating, access to all festival concerts, and VIP events for one day ($75), five days ($275), and as a five-day pass for two ($500). A complete listing of the multitude of performances is available at beethovenfestival2013.com.
- Classical music: The new Fall season begins on Monday night with the 36th annual FREE Labor Day Concert by the Karp Family. It features three generations performing music of Handel, Beethoven, John Harbison and Mendelssohn plus readings from Shakespeare. (welltempered.wordpress.com)
- Moonlight Sonata – Beethoven and the Blind Girl (zenmoments.org)