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The Beethoven Experience

“One of those remarkable breakthroughs in music that come only once every few decades.”
– Jeremy Yudkin, Co-director of the Center for Beethoven Research, on Nicholas Kitchen’s study of the composer’s original manuscripts

The Beethoven Experience is a landmark musical and educational adventure marking the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth, built around an exploration of all sixteen of his string quartets. Ticket holders will have the opportunity to participate in online interactive pre-concert conversations investigating the intersection between Beethoven and the intellectual, political, and artistic currents of his time….and ours!

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About the Performances

Each presentation is designed to be both a concert and educational experience. The insights and research shared by Artistic Director Nicholas Kitchen, as well as the truly breathtaking interpretations by the Borromeo Quartet, both expand our understanding of and appreciation for these landmark works themselves, as well as the cultural, political, and religious contexts in which they were composed.

The Beethoven Experience with the Borromeo Quartet

After the stunning series opening performance at the Blackfriars Playhouse, our program moved online in response to the global pandemic. The spring portion of our series was presented through Rubato: The Virtual Concert Hall, and these first six installments are now available to view. The series resumes with five additional online presentations starting in October 2020, completing the full cycle of the string quartets.

The Beethoven Experience I: Bor-Romeo – Beethoven & Shakespeare Beyond The Tomb Pt. 1

String Quartet No. 1 in F major, Op. 18, No. 1
String Quartet No. 7 in F major, Op. 59, No. 1 “Razumovsky”

The Beethoven Experience II: Bor-Romeo – Beethoven & Shakespeare Beyond The Tomb Pt. 2

String Quartet No. 12 in E-flat major, Op. 127

The Beethoven Experience III: Speaking to God – Beethoven’s Spirituality, Explored & Expressed

String Quartet No. 2 in G major, Op. 18 No. 2
String Quartet No. 8 in E minor, Op. 59, No. 2 “Razumovsky”

The Beethoven Experience IV: A Sacred Song of Thanks – Beethoven’s Spirituality, Explored & Expressed

String Quartet No. 15 in A Minor, Op. 132

The Beethoven Experience V: B.A.C.H.D.N.A – Beethoven’s Love of Bach Pt. 1

String Quartet No. 3 in D major, Op. 18, No. 3
String Quartet No. 9 in C major, Op. 59, No. 3

The Beethoven Experience VI: B.A.C.H.D.N.A – Beethoven’s Love of Bach Pt. 2

String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131

The Beethoven Experience VII: Tension…and Release


String Quartet No. 4 in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4
String Quartet No. 10 in E-flat major, Op. 74 “Harp”

The Beethoven Experience VIII: The Flexing Muscle


String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat major, Op. 130 (with the Gross Fuge ending)