HKAPA X RTHK: “Beethoven 32” — Opening the New Testament of Piano Literature
19 November 2021 ‖ Category : Music
The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) School of Music and Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) proudly present “Beethoven 32” (B32). This unique venture sets out to present the 32 piano sonatas written by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 –1827), one of the most venerated composers in the history of Western music. The creation of this anthology covered the composer’s three distinctive periods over a span of almost 30 years from 1795 to 1822.
“Beethoven 32” features 32 pianists associated with the School of Music of HKAPA. It is a radio, TV, and online production. Radio 4 (FM 97.6 – 98.9) will broadcast the programme at 1:15pm from 1 December 2021, a sonata a day, concluding on New Year’s Day. TV programmes will be broadcast on RTHK TV31 at 1pm on Saturdays from 1 January 2022 to 26 March 2022. All programmes will be available on RTHK’s website (rthk.hk) for 12 months after broadcast.
Jimmy Shiu, Head of Radio 4, RTHK, said, “The extraordinary range of expression, variety in styles, exploration of the possibility of the keyboard, and display of creativity have made Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas an integral part of the piano repertoire. Radio 4 is Hong Kong’s only fine music channel. We are proud to take part in the making of this anthology. B32 is particularly valuable as being a unique multi-platform production which showcases Hong Kong’s rich musical talent.”
Canace Lam, Head of Infotainment & Variety, Television Division, RTHK, said, “This series, which gathers 32 local piano talents and presents 32 Beethoven piano sonatas, is an important video record of Hong Kong’s classical music scene. RTHK will produce more programmes in this direction to promote classical music.”
Professor Sharon Choa, Dean of Music of HKAPA, said, “The fact that we are able to record the complete piano-sonata cycle of Beethoven is a testament to the great achievements of the Keyboard Department of the School of Music at HKAPA in the past three decades. Beethoven overcame many challenges in his lifetime to achieve the position he holds in the history of music. We hope that by listening to a complete genre of his compositions, audiences will be inspired not only by his great musical talent but also his tremendous willpower to triumph over adversities. May this be an encouragement to us all in combating our current challenging situation of the pandemic.’’
Professor Gabriel Kwok, Head of Keyboard Studies of HKAPA, added, “I am particularly proud to present 32 pianists from the Academy, from our Junior Music students to our distinguished alumni and Academy piano faculty members. Beethoven’s 32 Piano Sonatas was considered by Hans von Bülow, German conductor, virtuoso pianist and composer, as ‘The New Testament’ of the piano literature. We are delighted to be able to participate in this meaningful project.”
Please refer to the website for a detailed list of the 32 pianists and sonatas.
The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (www.hkapa.edu)
The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA), established by The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Ordinance in 1984, is a leading tertiary institution in the performing arts in Asia. It provides professional undergraduate education and practice-based postgraduate studies. The study encompasses Chinese Opera, Dance, Drama, Film and Television, Music, and Theatre and Entertainment Arts. Its educational philosophy reflects the cultural diversity of Hong Kong with emphasis on Chinese and Western traditions, and interdisciplinary learning. Since 2008, the Academy has attained the Programme Area Accreditation (PAA) status awarded by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ) to self-monitor and accredit its own Undergraduate and Post-secondary programmes in the five programme areas of Dance, Drama, Film and Television, Music, and Theatre and Entertainment Arts. Since 2016, the PAA status has been extended to cover Master’s Degree programmes and below. The programmes operated by the School of Chinese Opera are accredited by HKCAAVQ for recognition under the Hong Kong Qualifications Framework. Besides the main campus in Wanchai, Béthanie, the site of the Academy’s Landmark Heritage Campus in Pokfulam, has housed training facilities for the School of Film and Television since 2006. In the QS World University Rankings announced in 2021, the Academy is ranked 1st in Asia and 10th in the world in the Performing Arts category.
Radio Television Hong Kong (rthk.hk)
Established in 1928, RTHK, the oldest broadcasting station in Hong Kong, is also the sole public service broadcaster and a government department. It is the only local broadcaster that provides radio, television and new media broadcasting services that carry out the public purposes and mission set in “The Charter of Radio Television Hong Kong”. The production of RTHK programmes enjoys editorial independence yet follows a set of professional guidelines under the “Editorial Policies and Processes”.