NOVA series is poised for Beethoven marathon

Published October 8, 2013 9:27 am
Music • Solo piano works by "the Beethoven of our time" will spice up concerts.
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The NOVA Chamber Music Series is expanding by thinking small.

"We've been at Libby [Gardner Concert Hall] for five seasons, and it seemed like time to add concerts in a more intimate space," said Jason Hardink, the series' artistic director. Hardink, who's also the Utah Symphony's principal keyboardist, will team up with Kathryn Eberle in performances of all 10 of Beethoven's sonatas for violin and piano. The four concerts, spread over two seasons, will take place in the Art Barn, just a stone's throw from Libby Gardner. Seating is limited to 75.

"I wanted to feature a really important musician in town in a meaningful way," Hardink said of Eberle, who joined the Utah Symphony as associate concertmaster in 2011.

Eberle didn't have to think twice about the invitation. "It's kind of a bucket-list thing for me," she said. "I'm looking forward to playing these sonatas in a venue that is perhaps more like the venue they were originally performed in."

The duo will play the cycle in chronological order, starting with the three sonatas of Opus 12.

"I almost feel that this set is a microcosm of what happens in Beethoven's career," Hardink said. "The first is a grand statement, the second is a little lighter and the third is like a baby Eroica — it's suddenly twice as hard as the other sonatas, and the slow movement is really big."

Over the course of this series, the Beethoven works will be interspersed with solo piano works by Wolfgang Rihm, whom Hardink called "the Beethoven of our time — the greatest living German composer."

Hardink will play the pieces more or less in chronological order. "There's an evolution to his style," he said. "As he evolved, he brought in other vernacular influences and started to sound more like a German version of Charles Ives — more willing to quote things. He becomes more humorous as he goes on." —

Notes from the gallery

The NOVA Chamber Music Series launches its new Gallery Series, which will feature pianist Jason Hardink and violinist Kathryn Eberle performing all of Beethoven's sonatas for the two instruments over the next two seasons.

Where • Art Barn in Reservoir Park, 54 Finch Lane, Salt Lake City.

When • Sunday, Oct. 13, at 3 p.m.

Tickets • $25; seating is limited to 75.



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