OUR AIMS AND HISTORY
The Beethoven Society of Europe constitutes an international forum for pianists, teachers, musicologists and music lovers for the greater appreciation of Beethoven’s piano music in all its aspects. The Society’s primary aims are the promotion of the authentic interpretation of all of Beethoven’s music for or involving piano, orchestral, chamber or vocal genres, and the deeper awareness of his pianistic oeuvre as a whole.
Our activities concern the enrichment of performance, interpretation and reception, and include lecture-recitals, study days and masterclasses by international scholars and concert artists, concert series which offer a special platform to young artists of promise and established professionals, as well as competitions and concerts and publications.
The Beethoven Society of Europe celebrated its twentieth anniversary in 2013. The Society was launched at a Beethoven Day at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama on 28 March 1993, with an initial steering committee of distinguished pianists and scholars, including the late Kendall Taylor CBE, Carola Grindea, Professor Malcolm Troup, Peter Feuchtwanger, Alberto Portugheis, J. Audrey Ellison and Malcolm Miller.
A variety of events are organised by the Society to encourage the highest standards of interpretation and scholarship. Among them are:
- An Annual Beethoven Intercollegiate Piano Competition for the Beethoven Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians. The Senior Competition takes places in November/December, and the Junior Competition each Spring.
- An Annual Beethoven Chamber Music Competition and Masterclass for the ‘Gwyneth George’ Cup
- An Annual Summer Festival, Oxford Street, W1.
- Regular lunchtime concert series featuring young artists at venues such as St James Piccadilly, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Regent Hall, and the Foundling Museum, featuring outstanding young artists and acclaimed interpreters.
The Society promotes a wide contextual understanding of Beethoven’s oeuvre through an emphasis on less familiar works by Beethoven and his contemporaries. Specially themed concerts series addressing broader issues have included ‘Beethoven and Suppressed Music’, ‘Pianists of the World’ and ‘Beethoven and Youth’. Regional activities include the BPSE Northern Chapter meeting in Manchester.
Society publications include regular newsletters, distributed to members several times a year, and an annual journal, Arietta. The newsletter contains information about events and reports, while the journal Arietta features articles by renowned scholars and interviews with leading concert artists, as well as reviews and news.