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Mary Pappert School of Music Presents ‘Beethoven on the Bluff’

This month the Duquesne University Mary Pappert School of Music will launch the first of its new, two-season concert series Beethoven On the Bluff, which will feature the major piano chamber works of renowned composer Ludwig van Beethoven.

Beethoven On the Bluff: The Early Years, the first season of the two-year series, will be comprised of four concerts that will focus on the music that Beethoven wrote between 1793 and 1801, while he was in his 20s. The series will include popular works such as the Spring Sonata for violin and piano and the Septet for strings and winds.

This isn't the first time that Beethoven has made an appearance on Duquesne's Bluff. In 2002, artistic director David Allen Wehr, the Jack W. Geltz Distinguished Piano Chair, coordinated the On the Bluff, a two-year, eight-concert traversal of the 32 Beethoven piano sonatas. "Since then, the series has focused on different composers (Brahms, Chopin, Schumann and Dvořák) and national styles (French and Hungarian) in the manner of museum exhibits dedicated to particular artists," Wehr said.

Performers in the Beethoven on the Bluff series will include Duquesne music faculty, members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) and internationally celebrated guest artists. The series also marks the debut of The Duquesne Piano Trio, a group comprised of music school faculty members Wehr, Charles Stegeman (associate professor and chair of strings) and Adam Liu (adjunct professor of cello).

"We emphasize chamber music for piano combined with other instruments and make use of the deep pool of Duquesne faculty and PSO members who enjoy performing outside the confines of their orchestra positions," explained Wehr.

Beethoven on the Bluff: The Early Years kicks off at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22, with Septet/Piano Trios I. The concert program will feature the Ghost Piano Trio-a piece that is said to be inspired by the Witches Scene from William Shakespeare's Macbeth-and its companion, Piano Trio op. 70, no. 2. The performance will also include the Septet, one of Beethoven's most popular works. 

Additional performances of The Early Years season will include:

  • Piano Trios II on Monday, Oct. 14, at 7:30 p.m.
  • Violin/Cello I on Sunday, Jan. 12, at 3 p.m.
  • Violin/Cello II on Sunday, Feb. 16, at 3 p.m.

All Beethoven on the Bluff concerts will be held in the PNC Recital Hall with a suggested $10 donation for admission. For more information, call the School of Music at 412.396.6083 or visit www.duq.edu/beethoven.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.