Summermusik 2023: Beethoven Reconstructed

Eckart Preu, music director
Awadagin Pratt, piano
Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra

Saturday, August 5 | 7:30 PM
School for Creative and Performing Arts, Cincinnati OH

Beethoven - World Premiere Pianoconcerto no. 6








World première in Cincinnati!

Cees Nieuwenhuizen reconstructs Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto 6”

Cees Nieuwenhuizen has been studying Beethoven’s oeuvre and especially his sketches since he was fourteen years old. Since then he has reconstructed dozens of Beethoven compositions that were thought to be lost or left behind in outlines only. On August 5, the world premiere of Nieuwenhuizen’s reconstruction of Beethoven’s 6th piano concerto will take place in Cincinnati with the Cincinnatti Chamber orchestra conducted by Eckart Preu , and the famous pianist Awadagin Pratt at the keyboard! Nieuwenhuizen: ‘The crowning achievement of years of studying Beethoven sketches for this unique work.’

Nieuwenhuizen’s reconstructions have been recognized by the Beethoven house Bonn. In 2019, his reconstruction of Beethoven’s Oboe Concerto was premiered by the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. His reconstruction of Vestas Feuer took place last year in Zutphen. Nieuwenhuizen about Beethoven’s sketches: ‘Beethovens sometimes worked on his sketches many years later. ‘Für Elise’ comes from a sketch dated April 27, 1810, which he develops in 1824 into a new series of trivia for piano. They have never appeared in print because of his death.’

Beethoven’s Sixth Piano Concerto

Around 2010 Nieuwenhuizen became captivated by Beethoven’s sketches for a sixth piano concerto: ‘In the beginning there are quite a lot of notes, later on there are less and less. Beethoven experimented with deviant forms during that period. In his letters there is mention of a premiere of a ‘ganz neues Klavierkonzert’. It was cancelled, but I was able to reconstruct a complete first movement of that Sixth Piano Concerto from the material left behind.’

Awadagin Pratt

The American pianist Awadagin Pratt (1966) garnered much praise for his intense performances. After a sensational entry into the piano world in 1992, he has given numerous recitals from America to Japan and from Germany to South Africa. Pratt played in the White House for the Clintons and the Obamas. When he saw Nieuwenhuizen’s reconstruction of Beethoven’s 6th Piano Concerto, he showed himself captivated by the music, with the forthcoming world premiere as a resounding result. Nieuwenhuizen: ‘Such a breakthrough has not been given to many Dutch composers and it feels like you are cycling through the air. I hope it is the start of many more performances of this beautiful piece!”

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