Classical Music

Context Clues: A Conversation With Brian Connelly

The Artistic Director of “Music in Context” discusses instruments, delves into Beethoven’s biography, and previews the upcoming season.

Music in Context: Vienna and the Piano
Music in Context: Vienna and the Piano

When asked to describe the concert series, Music in Context, Artistic Director Brian Connelly cheerily says, “Unusual.” Indeed, this chamber music series differs from many others in one distinct way; as Connelly describes, the performers “use instruments that are appropriate for each era that we’re playing.” Over the course of this six-concert season, Connelly will play on four to five different pianos. On the first concert, which features three works by Ludwig van Beethoven, including the famed ‘Hammerklavier’ Sonata, Connelly will introduce audiences to an 1826 piano crafted by Conrad Graf. When asked about the instrument, Connelly almost can’t contain his excitement; he explains that Beethoven played on a piano by the same maker from the same time, and reverently says, “Beethoven might have played on this piano, who knows?” A sneak peak of the instrument is available in the interview above. The rest of the season traverses nearly an entire century of music, with works by Schubert, Webern, Mahler, and others, and features brilliant musicians from Europe and the United States.

1826 piano by Conrad Graf
1826 piano by Conrad Graf

 

The first concert, Beethoven’s ‘Hammerklavier’, will be held on September 18th, at 4:00 pm in Duncan Recital Hall at Rice University. Hear an interview, with Brian Connelly, Artistic Director of Music in Context, and HPM’s Anya Wilkening for a season preview, above.

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