Member blog: Bringing Beethoven to Wales

A fresh perspective from female composers

In rural Wales, music clubs play a huge part in maintaining live music locally. In 2018/19, Rhyl Music Club launched an ambitious and highly successful Beethoven in Wales concert series - featuring all ten of Beethoven’s violin sonatas.

The three-concert series is being staged by music clubs around Wales, with nine venues taking part from Welshpool to Aberystwyth and beyond. Each of the concerts includes a new piece commissioned from Welsh, female composers to offer a counter voice to, and new perspective on, Beethoven. The new works are: Rhian Samuel’s new Violin Sonata, which takes ideas from Beethoven and explores the dramatic potential of themes to merge with, overcome or reject one another; Until the Thread Breaks by Sarah Lianne Lewis reflecting on the effect that Beethoven’s deafness had on his art; and Hilary Tann’s First Light, a meditation on Beethoven’s contemplative side. Internationally-renowned duo Mary Hofman, violinist, and Richard Ormrod, pianist, who live in Snowdonia are performing the pieces. The concert series also includes workshops and talks by the composers.

Each commission was premiered at Rhyl Town Hall and the music club, which came up with the idea of the project along with Mary Hofman, and was generously supported by the Colwinston Trust, Tŷ Cerdd, PRS/Women Make Music and Mrs Gwyneth Peters. 

The ongoing concert series is intended to raise the profile of, and increase support for, the wonderful work music clubs are doing across Wales, and the other venues will be scheduling performances throughout the next two seasons.

Visit www.rhylmusic.com/beethoven-in-wales to find out more. Has your group has been working on a unique project or activity that you'd like to share? Find out how to submit your news.