“To play a wrong note is insignificant, to play without passion is inexcusable” – Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven’s beliefs as reported by his piano pupil Ferdinand Ries “When I left out something in a passage, a note or a skip, which in many cases he wished to have specially emphasized, or struck a wrong key, he seldom said anything; yet when I was at fault with regard to the expression, the crescendo or matters of that kind, or in the character of the piece, he would grow angry. Mistakes of the other kind, he said were due to chance; but these last resulted from want of knowledge, feeling or attention. He himself often made mistakes of the first kind, even playing in public.” From Thayer’s Life of Beethoven, Volume 1, By Alexander Wheelock Thayer, Henry Edward Krehbiel

Ludwig van Beethoven was born in December of 1770 and died in March of 1827 at the age of 56. He was a respected composer and virtuoso pianist. Beethoven struggled with both physical and mental health problems throughout his life. His hearing started to deteriorate in the year 1801, leaving him completely deaf by 1811. Despite this, Beethoven continued to compose, finishing what is considered his final work, String Quartet No. 14 in C♯ minor, Op. 131, in 1826. Listen to a popular clip of this work here: https://youtu.be/sgsZx9kHvU4.

To listen to clips of our students rehearsing popular Beethoven piano works click here: https://youtu.be/ArOFw_PdSPE

“To play a wrong note is insignificant, to play without passion is inexcusable” – Ludwig van Beethoven