Bath joins Beethoven 250 celebrations

BATH Festivals will be joining the worldwide celebrations of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven, staging a series of six concerts of the composer’s entire cycle of 16 string quartets.

Three of the concerts will take place in March, with three more in May, during the main festival, forming part of a global programme of musical and cultural tributes to the world’s best known composer.

The Bath Beethoven string quartets cycle will be performed by the Carducci String Quartet in March and the Heath Quartet in May, two of the world’s leading string quartets.

The six concerts will be augmented by a talk about the music and its composer, by Classic FM broadcaster John Suchet, author of Beethoven: The Man Revealed.

Bath Festivals’ chief executive Ian Stockley said: “We are very excited to be able to offer audiences the chance to go on the greatest of musical journeys to hear the entire cycle of Beethoven’s 16 string quartets. This series of concerts will be something for the festivals and the city to be proud of.”

The early quartets, written when Beethoven was in his 20s, sparkle with youthful exuberance. They lead on to the Razumovsky quartets of his middle period.  The late quartets, written in the final years of his life, when he was profoundly deaf, offer a sublime mixture of grandeur, intimacy, beauty and intimations of mortality.

The March concerts, on Friday 27th at 7.30pm and Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th at 11am, will be at Bath Guildhall. The May series, on Friday 22nd at 7.30pm, and Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th, at 11am, will be at the Assembly Rooms. The talk, Beethoven: The Man Revealed with John Suchet, is on Saturday 28th March at 3pm at the Guildhall.

Tickets go on general release from 9.30am on Thursday 7th November, from www.bathfestivals.org.uk

Picture: The Carducci Quartet, photograph by Andy Holdsworth; the Heath Quartet, photograph by Kauko Kikkas