Beethoven 32

Boris Giltburg



Volume 9 reviews

Volume 9 was reviewed in Pizzicato (5 stars) and the Arts Desk

'Cis Des' 3-part feature The Austrian radio covered the project in a 3-part feature on the ‘Cis Des’ show. Part 1 aired in March 2021 and part 2 aired in April 2021, with part 3 to follow in the summer.

'First Person' blog post on the Arts Desk The Arts Desk published an article I wrote about filming Beethoven 32 throughout the pandemic.

Volume 8 reviews Pizzicato (Supersonic award)

Volume 7 reviews BBC Music Magazine (April 2021 issue)(4 stars) “The Appassionata’s F minor opening instantly focuses attention, and the sweep and drama of Giltburg’s journey through its darkly turbulent outer movements never lets up for a moment.” Malcolm Hayes

Pizzicato (5 stars)

Scala Radio – Vol. 7 featured on New Release Friday (8th January 2021)

Classic FM – Vol. 7 featured as ‘Drive Discovery’ album of the week (11th January 2021)

Volume 6 reviews

Gramophone – review of Volumes 4-6 (March 2021 issue) “A deeply felt Adagio con espressione provides the perfect lead-in to the animated finale, replete with the type of boisterous extroversion at which Giltburg excels.” Patrick Rucker

Pizzicato (5 stars)

BBC Radio 3 BBC Radio 3 In Tune – live interview about the project (21st January 2021)

The Guardian The Guardian published a self-written article about Beethoven and the challenges of 2020 (27th December 2020)

BBC Radio 4 BBC Radio 4 Front Row – live interview & performance (16th December 2020)

Classic FM Classic FM Online – 250 words by Boris on Beethoven as part of their 250th anniversary coverage (15th December 2020)

Scala Radio Scala Radio – Beethoven Sonata Live Session – (Op. 110, 1st movement) and interview (16th December 2020)

Volume 5 reviews Pizzicato (5 stars)

Volume 4 reviews Pizzicato (5 stars) The Times – (16th October 2020) “Then I turned to YouTube, the eventual home for filmed versions of all the cycle’s recording sessions. No. 12 is already online, and there was Giltburg, head bowed before his Fazioli piano, the camera fixed on his delicate fingers in the opening andante. What had previously seemed careful and deliberate now appeared dappled with tender feelings.” Geoff Brown

BBC Radio 3 Radio 3 ‘Breakfast’ – track play from Volume 4 (19th October 2020)

Volume 3 reviews Gramophone – review of Volumes 1-3 (November 2020 issue) “In a sense it typifies what one might hope for in a traversal of familiar repertory by an outstanding young artist: fresh perspective on terrain one thought one knew, shedding new light in view of current realities, sincerely expressed with commitment and originality.” Patrick Rucker Pizzicato (5 stars)

Volume 2 reviews BBC Music Magazine (November 2020 issue)(5 stars) “Boris Giltburg’s playing allows every quality of the music to come across at full value: his approach avoids tendentious point-making, while also presenting something far more vivid and memorable than just a no-nonsense exposition of each sonata. This cycle is being made with a parallel filmed version, so Giltburg delivers each movement in a single unedited take, in this way bringing us closer to the spontaneous feel of a live performance. On this form, Naxos’s cycle looks set to be something special.” Malcolm Hayes

Pizzicato (5 stars)

The Guardian – review of Volumes 1 & 2 (30th July 2020) “Giltburg’s approach to early Beethoven is refreshingly straightforward, and never contrived; textures are lean and clear, rubato never overdone.” Andrew Clements

Primephonic Primephonic – live Q&A and performance (30th July 2020)

Classic FM Classic FM airplay – Finale from Sonata No. 2 (19th July 2020) Classic FM airplay – 1st movement of Sonata No. 1 (16th July 2020)

BBC Radio 3 Radio 3 Breakfast – track play from Beethoven Sonatas Vol. 1 album (6th July 2020)

Qobuz Qobuz – featured curated playlist by Boris Giltburg (3rd July 2020)

Scala Radio Scala Radio – tracks from Beethoven Sonatas Vol. 1 album in their playlist (3rd July 2020)

Deutschlandfunk Deutschlandfunk – Letters to Beethoven / Briefe an Beethoven:

Volume 1 reviews Pizzicato(5 stars)

Radio 3 Record Review – (20th June 2020) “This is polished, sparkling, classical playing. He’s playing a beautiful Italian piano, the Fazioli, which gives him this extra light and clarity of touch. His tempi are never hurried. For him, the music always comes first - I love that, he’s a real master musician, he always gives the music time to breathe.” Lucy Parham

Classical Music Magazine Classical Music Magazine – cover feature (May 2020 issue)

Westdeutscher Rundfunk WDR 3 feature on Sonatas Nos. 1-8

Classical Music Magazine Online Classical Music Magazine Online – news story on lockdown live streaming including Boris and Beethoven 32 link (21st April 2020)

The Times The Times – Beethoven feature, including contribution written by Boris (8th April 2020)

Pianist Pianist – feature on top three Beethoven interpreters alongside Steven Osborne and Jonathan Biss written by Warwick Thompson (February/March 2020 issue)

BBC Radio 3 Radio 3 In Tune – live interview and performance (26th February 2020)

Gramophone Gramophone Online – Boris Giltburg blog post with first video (17th January 2020)

Gramophone Podcast – interview with James Jolly (11th October 2019)

Launch news coverage Classical Music Magazine online – news story (17th January 2020)

International Piano – news story (January 2020 issue)

Classical Music Magazine Online – news story (17th December 2019)

Gramophone – news story in printed magazine (November 2019 issue)

Classical Music Magazine Online – news story (9th October 2019)

Slipped Disc – news story (9th October 2019)

Gramophone – online news story (8th October 2019)

BBC Music Magazine – news story (November 2019 issue)

Press Release

Pianist Boris Giltburg embarks on Beethoven 32, a ground-breaking Beethoven Sonatas journey to mark 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth

December 2019

To mark the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth in 2020, pianist Boris Giltburg has created Beethoven 32, a ground-breaking project which will see him learn all 32 Beethoven Piano Sonatas, the majority of which are not currently in his repertoire. Working with brand new audio-visual label Fly On The Wall, he will film his performances and share them as live, uncut visual albums at regular intervals throughout the year with a global audience via Apple Music and YouTube.

Of the project, Giltburg comments: “This year I will be intensely living through Beethoven’s 32 sonatas and am excited about the huge challenge as much as the ensuing journey of discovery. What started as a crazy idea is fast becoming an all-consuming obsession. With this intensity of feeling comes an overwhelming desire to share, both the process and the results – although I know that these results can hardly be final, as years of continued exploration await. I hope to capture and share those fleeting changes of emotion, of falling in love with the music, of discovering a grand architectural plan to a movement or a tiny detail in one bar; of grappling for days with a section that is proving elusive and then, sometimes, the happiness of finally finding it, whatever ‘it’ is.”

To bring the project together, Giltburg will launch a dedicated website later this year, where he will post additional supporting written material and video content to help his audience connect with the sheer scale of the undertaking.

Beethoven wrote the sonatas over a period of almost 30 years, with the first three composed in 1795 and the final instalment, Opus 111: Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor written in 1822. By choosing to learn and film them in chronological order, Giltburg hopes to follow the composer on his original path of development. Giltburg explains: “I will attempt to view each sonata - or most of them, at least - as the highest point of what Beethoven could achieve at that time, which makes every sonata interesting in itself, not only for its position in the cycle.”

The depth and complexity of this sonatas cycle mean that musicians could easily dedicate a lifetime of work and thought to learning and finessing their interpretations. In this instance, Giltburg has chosen a different approach because he is drawn to the challenge of capturing the essence of the pieces in a very short timeframe to mark the anniversary year. He hopes that by sharing not only the finished filmed performances, but also a behind-the-scenes look at the daily challenges and obstacles faced by a concert pianist in learning the sonatas, his audience will gain a deeper insight into the process and ultimately, a greater appreciation for the masterpieces.

Alongside this landmark project, Giltburg will complete his recording cycle of the Beethoven Piano Concertos with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under Vasily Petrenko for the Naxos label in the same year. The first volume of the cycle will be released on 11th October 2019 featuring Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2, with the second set for release in October 2020 and the third in early 2021. In February 2020, Giltburg will perform all five of the Beethoven Piano Concertos in three consecutive days in Brussels with the Brussels Philharmonic directed by Thierry Fischer as part of the Flagey Piano Festival. On 23rd April 2020 Giltburg will perform Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

Notes to Editors:

For further information and interview requests please contact:

Alexa Robertson • • Tel. +44 (0)7946 535173

© Boris Giltburg