April 2, 2001

Beethoven to be interpreted by a master at Middlebury College

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.—Stephen Kovacevich’s interpretations of Beethoven are world-renowned and he will share his gift with a Vermont audience Tuesday, April 17, at 7:30 p.m. in Middlebury College’s Concert Hall in the Center for the Arts on South Main Street (Route 30).

His selections for the evening will include "Moonlight Sonata" and Beethoven’s last piano sonata, opus 111.

A concert pianist with a reputation for radical interpretations of classical fare, Kovacevich is best known for his performances and extensive recordings of Beethoven’s later works. Some of his earliest recordings remain standards in the music world against which other pianists—and even Kovacevich himself—measure their work.

Born in Los Angeles, Kovacevich moved to London as a young man and studied with the legendary British pianist Dame Myra Hess. He emerged as a stunning talent and launched a long career touring the world’s stages with orchestras in Europe, Asia, the North America and Australia.

Both Kovacevich’s live and recorded performances have received critical acclaim. "This is probably how the young Beethoven himself sounded … this disc is virtually flawless," wrote Classic CD in 1999 of a Kovacevich’s Beethoven release.

In late 1999, a reviewer at the Pittsburgh City Paper remarked at how Kovacevich has not received tremendous attention in the United States during his career: "Yet the appearance of the 59-year-old pianist, performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto 24 in C Minor with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, is equivalent to hearing Vladimir Horowitz or Arthur Rubinstein in their prime."

After a recital in Kansas City a year ago, a Kansas City Star reviewer said Kovacevich "played so spontaneously that the piece sounded as if it were being composed before us."

Kovacevich records exclusively for EMI International and recently recorded the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas. He has won prizes and received award nominations for his studio work, including a Grammy Award nomination for a Brahms recording and several Gramophone Awards.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for senior citizens. A pre-performance dinner will be held at 6 p.m. in Rehearsals Cafe in the Center for the Arts. For tickets or dinner reservations, call the College box office at 802-443-6433.

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