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Sergio Monteiro Presents Beethoven’s 32 Piano Sonatas

Sergio Monteiro - Steinway Artist - Complete Piano Sonatas of Ludwig Van Beethoven - Performances listing image

Oklahoma City University, Sergio Monteiro
To Present Beethoven’s 32 Piano Sonatas

Steinway Artist Sergio Monteiro will perform the complete cycle of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas in an eight-concert series beginning Sept. 11-12 at Oklahoma City University.

“To be able to present every one of Beethoven’s piano sonatas is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream,” Monteiro said. “Each sonata is a wonder, unique in form and content. The complete cycle is a true encyclopedia of Beethoven’s language, passing through all the three periods of his life and showing us every step of his artistic growth.”

Concerts will begin at 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in Petree Recital Hall at OCU’s Wanda L. Bass School of Music, NW 25th Street at Blackwelder. Tickets ($15) are available from 405.208.5227 beginning Sept. 7. For questions or details, contact 405.208.5700.

Originally scheduled in celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, Monteiro said the sonatas are more relevant than ever in challenging times. The 2021-22 series, encompassing 12 hours of music, will mark the first time the cycle has been presented in Oklahoma City since OCU hosted Stefan Bardas’ performances in the 1960s.

“Beethoven’s music shines as an ideal of resilience, self-determination and healing,” Monteiro said. “An artist who struggled all his career against the adversities of life, Beethoven overcame his physical limitations to create an innovative body of work, in which the human spirit and its power to surpass obstacles is one of the most fundamental elements. With him, our souls reached new heights.”

Monteiro will open the series Sept. 11-12 with concerts exploring four Beethoven sonatas including the No. 8 in C minor, nicknamed Pathétique, on Saturday, followed Sunday by No. 14 in C-sharp minor, popularly known as the Moonlight Sonata.

“This is one of those musical once-in-a-lifetime concert series,” said Mark Parker, dean of the Bass School. “This rare opportunity to hear a great pianist perform all 32 sonatas of Beethoven should not be missed.”

The cycle features several of the most famous piano pieces of all time. Many are best known by nicknames -- the Moonlight, the Pathétique and the Apassionata – coined by editors to reinforce the music’s romantic character. Each recital will feature at least one of the named sonatas.

Opening weekend will be followed by concerts on Oct. 23-24, featuring The Tempest and Les Adieux. The Nov. 6-7 sessions will highlight The Hunt, Apassionata and the challenging Hammerklavier, a 50-minute work considered one of the most difficult pieces of music ever written. The cycle concludes January 15-16 with a program including the Waldstein and Pastoral sonatas.

The Brazilian-born Monteiro moved to Oklahoma in 2009 to accept an appointment as director of piano at the Bass School of Music. A winner of the Martha Argerich International Piano Competition, he has been lauded as “an artist with extraordinary creativity and energy. When he starts playing, music comes to life. His love for music is very strong and passionate; music loves him in return.”

He is a frequent soloist with ensembles including the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and the Buenos Aires Philharmonic and has presented recitals in venues including Rome’s Palestrina Hall, Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy, the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, and the Steinway Halls of New York and Beijing. Monteiro is featured in a series of solo CDs from Naxos that highlights his interpretations of works by Henrique Oswald, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Felix Mendelssohn’s early piano music, Domenico Scarlatti’s keyboard sonatas, and the symphonic poems of Franz Liszt.

“Beethoven wrote his sonatas through his entire career, and they foreshadow all his stylistic and harmonic innovations,” Monteiro said. “A brilliant pianist himself, the piano was at the core of his musical mind and his sonatas are the starting point of all the elements that would be developed in his future compositions.”