Local violinist celebrates Beethoven’s 250th birthday

From left, Kate Boyd and Justine Cormack will play four of Beethoven’s violin sonatas in Wānaka next month.

In a tour of Bannockburn, Wānaka, and Queenstown, two musicians will be celebrating Beethoven’s 250th birthday in early February with the composer’s 10 violin/piano sonatas. Each concert will feature a different selection of pieces, with the Wānaka concert featuring the second, third, seventh, and eighth sonatas. 

Local violinist Justine Cormack is joined by U.S. pianist Kate Boyd, a pair of classically trained musicians who studied for their doctorate degrees at Stony Brook University in New York. 

Cormack, who has played violin for 47 years, explained that the decision to play these pieces came very naturally to the duo, “Beethoven of course is one of the most famous and highly celebrated classical composers —  and rightly so, as his music is so powerful and communicates emotions so directly… As one of her sabbatical projects, Kate contacted me with this idea to perform the entire violin sonata cycle here in NZ and also in the States. This was an offer I simply couldn't refuse.”

“I am particularly thrilled to be doing this cycle here in Central Otago, being a new resident,” added Cormack, “my husband and I moved down here two years ago —  fulfilling a long-held dream to live and work from this most gorgeous part of NZ… to be bringing my music to 'my' community is an important and fundamental step in our move down here.”

The Wānaka section of the tour will take place in the Lake Wānaka Centre on Saturday February 15 at 7:30pm hosted by the Wānaka Concert Society. Tickets can be found online or at the Gifted Design Store; door sales will be available from 6:30pm. Children/students free.

For more information, visit https://www.listenfeelplay.nz/beethoven-2020/


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