Columbus Symphony’s Beethoven Marathon Features All Five Beethoven Piano Concertos Over Two Days February 23 & 24

Courtney Lewis

Courtney Lewis

Two nights. All five Beethoven piano concertos. Pure bliss. Celebrated Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan and British conductor Courtney Lewis collaborate to bring a one-of-a-kind experience to Columbus.

Friday Program:

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4

Saturday Program:

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5

The Columbus Symphony presents the Beethoven Marathon at the Southern Theatre (21 E. Main St.) on Friday and Saturday, February 23 and 24, at 8pm. Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and To purchase tickets by phone, please call (614) 228-8600 or (800) 745-3000. The CAPA Ticket Center will also be open two hours prior to each performance.

Prelude – Patrons are invited to join Christopher Purdy in the theatre at 7pm for a 30-minute, pre-concert discussion about the works to be performed.

Postlude – After the Friday performance, patrons are invited to join the musicians of the Columbus Symphony at Thurber’s Bar in the adjacent Westin Hotel (310 S. High St.). After the Saturday performance, patrons are encouraged to stay for a performance of Beethoven’s Octet for Winds.

About guest conductor Courtney Lewis

Hailed by the Boston Phoenix as “…both an inspired conductor…and an inspired programmer,” Courtney Lewis is quickly becoming recognized as one of today’s top emerging talents. He is founder and music director of Boston’s acclaimed Discovery Ensemble, a chamber orchestra with the mission of introducing inner-city school children to classical music while bringing new and unusual repertoire to established concert audiences. Lewis is also associate conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra, where he regularly conducts Young People’s concerts, outdoor concerts, and subscription performances.

About guest pianist Inon Barnatan

Hailed as “a true poet of the keyboard, refined, searching [and] unfailingly communicative” (Evening Standard, London), the pianist Inon Barnatan has been named as the New York Philharmonic’s first Artist-in-Association, a major three-season appointment highlighted by multiple concerto and chamber collaborations with the orchestra. To launch his unprecedented new partnership with the New York Philharmonic, Barnatan made his subscription debut playing Ravel’s concerto under Alan Gilbert. In repertoire ranging from Mozart and Beethoven to Andrew Norman’s Suspend (2014), this past season he made debuts with orchestras including the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic under Susanna Mälkki, the Orchestre National de France led by James Gaffigan, the Vancouver Symphony with Bramwell Tovey, and the Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec. The pianist also enjoyed repeat engagements with the Milwaukee Symphony with Edo de Waart, Ulster Orcehstra with Rafael Payare, and under Matthias Pintscher’s leadership, the Atlanta Symphony, where Barnatan and the orchestra recently achieved “a musical coming-together at a level one rarely experiences in a concerto” (Arts ATL).

About composer Ludwig van Beethoven

German composer and pianist Ludwig van Beethoven was a crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras of Western art music, and remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers.

Piano Concerto No. 1

Written in 1795 and revised in 1800, its first performance took place in Vienna on December 18, 1795, with Beethoven as soloist. It was first published in 1801 with a dedication to his pupil Princess Anna Louise Barbara Odescalchi known to her friends as “Babette.” Although this was Beethoven’s first piano concerto to be published, it was actually his third attempt at the genre, following an unpublished piano concerto in E-flat major of 1784 and the Piano Concerto No. 2.

Piano Concerto No. 2

Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 was composed primarily between 1787 and 1789, although it did not attain the form it was published in until 1795. It was published in 1801 following Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1, which had actually been composed well after this piece. The Piano Concerto No. 2 became an important display piece for the young Beethoven as he sought to establish himself after moving from Bonn to Vienna. He was the soloist at its premiere on March 29, 1795, at Vienna’s Burgtheater in a concert marking his public debut.

Piano Concerto No. 3

Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 was composed in 1800 and published in 1804, with its first public performance on April 5, 1803, with the composer as soloist. During that same performance, the Second Symphony and the oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives were also premiered. The composition was dedicated to Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia.

Piano Concerto No. 4

Composed in 1805-06, Beethoven premiered and performed his Piano Concerto No. 4 at a private concert at the home of Prince Franz Joseph von Lobkowitz in March 1807. The Coriolan Overture and the Fourth Symphony were premiered in that same concert. The public premiere was not until a concert on December 22, 1808, at Vienna’s Theater an der Wien where Beethoven again took the stage as soloist. The marathon concert saw Beethoven’s last appearance as a soloist with orchestra, as well as the premieres of the Choral Fantasy and the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies. Beethoven dedicated the concerto to his friend, student, and patron, the Archduke Rudolph.

Piano Concerto No. 5

Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, popularly known as the Emperor Concerto, was his last completed piano concerto. It was written in Vienna between 1809 and 1811, and was dedicated to Archduke Rudolf, Beethoven’s patron and pupil. The first performance took place in Vienna on January 13, 1811, at the Palace of Prince Joseph Lobkowitz with Archduke Rudolf as soloist. Its first public performance was at a concert on November 28, 1811, at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig under conductor Johann Philipp Christian Schulz and featuring Friedrich Schneider as soloist.


The Columbus Symphony presents the BEETHOVEN MARATHON

Friday & Saturday, February 23 & 24, 8 pm

Southern Theatre (21 E. Main St.)

Two nights. All five Beethoven piano concertos. Pure bliss. Celebrated Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan and British conductor Courtney Lewis collaborate to bring a one-of-a-kind experience to Columbus. Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and To purchase tickets by phone, please call (614) 228-8600 or (800) 745-3000.

The 2017-18 season is made possible in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. The CSO also appreciates the support of the Greater Columbus Arts Council, supporting the city’s artists and arts organizations since 1973, and the Robert W. Stevenson, Preston Davis, and Kenneth L. Coe and Jack Barrow funds of The Columbus Foundation, assisting donors and others in strengthening our community for the benefit of all its citizens.

About the Columbus Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1951, the Columbus Symphony is the only full-time, professional symphony in central Ohio. Through an array of innovative artistic, educational, and community outreach programming, the Columbus Symphony is reaching an expanding, more diverse audience each year. This season, the Columbus Symphony will share classical music with more than 200,000 people in central Ohio through concerts, radio broadcasts, and special programming. For more information, visit

Courtney Lewis Lewis