Pianist will learn and film all 32 sonatas during Beethoven year

Pianist will learn and film all 32 sonatas during Beethoven year


norman lebrecht

October 09, 2019

PR message:

To mark the 250 th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth in 2020, pianist Boris Giltburg has created Beethoven 32, a ground-breaking project which will see him learn all 32 Beethoven Piano Sonatas, the majority of which are not currently in his repertoire. Working with filmmaker Stewart French of Fly On The Wall Productions, he will then film his performances and share at regular intervals throughout the year with a global audience via his YouTube channel.

Of the project, Giltburg comments: “The 32 Beethoven Sonatas are widely regarded as one of the pinnacles of piano music, and I am excited about the huge challenge as much as the ensuing journey of discovery. I have played nine of the sonatas so far, so 23 will be completely new, including some of the most challenging.”



  • John Rook says:

    Ah-hah! The Alan Partridge of the keys is back.

  • Esther Cavett says:

    Will he memorize them ? Fugue of Hammerklavier is very hard to stick, I find

  • Mathias Broucek says:

    Interesting marketing: “Come and hear me play some music I don’t know that well…”

  • piano lover says:

    ANOTHER set of the Beethoven’s gem-what new could he bring to what we already have????

    • Kyle Wiedmeyer says:

      The appeal of this project is not to gain another set of the sonatas to compare and contrast with others, but rather the rare opportunity to see how a very high-level performer learn music that, as a performer, is unfamiliar to him.

  • Piano Fan says:

    Learning all 32 Sonatas, and performing and filming them in the same year? Ought to provide “in-depth” interpretations.

  • Esther Cavett says:

    Oh , this is the guy who transcribed Shost. 8th SQ for piano.

    I’ll definitely follow his progress with this LvB project

  • Ed says:

    Eagerly awaited.

  • esfir ross says:

    Exegi monumentum aere perennius or propel sagging career

  • drummerman says:

    Considering that they are the “pinnacles of piano music,” one wonders why it took him so long to learn them.

  • David Murphy says:

    American pianist Adam Golka is playing all 32 Sonatas from memory (he’s played the complete cycle before when he was 18). It’s called ’32@32′ since he is age 32. He is filming too but something a bit different to Giltburg….

    “In cooperation with filmmaker Zac Nicholson, Adam Golka dives into 32 conversations, one corresponding to each of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 32 Piano Sonatas, with a dazzling array of special guests.”

    Each interview will be broadcast on a screen on the stage in-between each of the sonatas he’s playing.

    Trailer here: https://youtu.be/gyS0KZLr7Cg

  • I have been studying the sonatas all my life, and with some great teachers. You can hear (and, for some of them, see) my complete set of Beethoven sonatas, all of them live performances, on youtube. I will likely be presenting my third cycle during the 20/21 season. Just search on Youtube for Daniel Shapiro Beethoven. Or go to https://danielshapiropianist.com/audio%2Fvideo-i.. Thank you in advance if you choose to listen/watch!

  • Bruce says:

    I guess it could be interesting to watch and see how someone learns a piece of music — or at least, how he learns it in a couple of weeks — but I can’t say I’m interested in hearing the result for at least another few years.