Beethoven Bartók Now
The Solem Quartet present an ambitious six-part series of concerts, Beethoven Bartók Now, bringing together the late quartets of Beethoven and the quartets of Béla Bartók, uniquely reimagined with music from composers of today. Beethoven Bartók Now will also see a wealth of digital content and educational activity, providing a rich resource for a network of composers and an access point for new audiences.
The late string quartets of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) represent the greatest works of chamber music from the nineteenth century. Written roughly 100 years later, perhaps the most important contributions to the genre since Beethoven are the extraordinary six string quartets of Béla Bartók (1881-1945). These two composers pushed forward the string quartet idiom in terms of what was demanded from performers musically and technically, and more importantly created music of huge emotional breadth. The Solem Quartet believe it is important these composers’ works continue to be performed with energy and verve in new contexts to new audiences.
Across six concerts beginning in December 2020, to mark the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, the Solem Quartet will perform the six late quartets of Beethoven with the six quartets of Bartók, alongside commissioned works from living composers.
Beethoven Bartók Now will see the Solem Quartet collaborate with leading composers of today – Aaron Parker, Jasmine Morris, David John Roche, Ayanna Witter-Johnson, Edmund Finnis, and Bushra El-Turk – to perform commissioned new works and present the historic music of Beethoven and Bartók in a new light.
Each of these six events will be paired with wraparound digital content, Writing for Quartet and Unpacking BBN, alongwith educational school workshops Exploring Sound. Beethoven Bartók Now will take place from December 2020 to March 2023 nationwide.