Apr 5 -6

Merchant & Gould Concertmaster Series

The Late Genius: Beethoven’s Final Days


Wednesday, April 5, 2023, at 7 p.m.

Thursday, April 6, 2023, at 7 p.m.


Knoxville Museum of Art

Directions & Parking


LUDWIG van BEETHOVEN: Violin Sonata No. 4 in A minor
ALEXANDRA BRYANT TAVANI: Selections from “The Open” for Violin and Piano
GEORGE FREDERIC HANDEL: Passacaglia for 2 Violins (arr. JOHAN HALVORSEN, second violin arr. JASCHA HEIFETZ)
LUDWIG van BEETHOVEN: String Quartet No. 12


Beethoven’s “Late Quartets” are legendary pieces that inspired countless composers and artists alike since their composition. They are also the most challenging string quartets ever written, performed almost exclusively by touring professional String Quartets who may “live” with them side by side over time. Yet here in Knoxville, we so rarely hear them performed: something I cannot accept! Together with my colleagues in the KSO, I am thrilled to perform the String Quartet No. 12, op. 127. A heavenly piece that has moments of fantasy, high romanticism, and even a touch of ballet, this piece was innovative from the day it was written and remains “forever modern,” to borrow from Igor Stravinsky’s famous commentary on the Late Quartets. Beethoven’s ground-breaking spirit always inspires me to program his music alongside an extraordinarily talented composer of today; and preceding the string quartet, Kevin Class and I will perform Alexandra T. Bryant’s “The Open” for Violin and Piano. Bryant’s composition vividly illustrates scenes from everyday life that we see in nature, with high fantasy taking a back seat to the most beautiful images of real life, from “the cool breeze across the lake” to “we stepped out onto our new lawn.” – William Shaub


2022/23 season subscriptions on sale now. Single tickets on sale in August 2022.




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