Beethoven, Cristofori & The Piano’s First Century
DECEMBER 5, 2021
Sunday at 2 PM
Part of TŌN’s Sight & Sound series
In the hit series Sight & Sound, conductor and music historian Leon Botstein explores the parallels between orchestral music and the visual arts. A discussion is accompanied by on-screen artworks and musical excerpts performed by The Orchestra Now, followed by a full performance and audience Q&A.
At the dawn of the 18th century, Italian instrument maker Bartolomeo Cristofori created the world’s first successful hammer-action keyboard instrument, which would come to be known as the piano. A century later it was clear that the piano would become the defining instrument of Western musical culture. Beethoven, a virtuoso pianist, composed extensively for the instrument. His “Emperor” Piano Concerto reveals Beethoven’s obsession with the musical possibilities emerging from the rapidly evolving technology of piano construction.
Cristofori’s 1720 Grand Piano is on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Musical Instruments collection.