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To all our friends and Beethoven fans:


2012 will be a very important and active year for the International Beethoven Project, as we prepare for a very exciting Beethoven Festival in September and many great events leading up to it.

As you all know by now, we received a challenge grant of $5,000 in the last ten days of 2011 if we could muster 100 individual donations from our fan-base... and I am very excited to announce that


We received at least 103 donations. The final count has not been made but we know we received at least that many, and we will let you know what the total results are next week.


to all of our donors, especially to those who had never given before and realized they too could make a difference. And you did! The beautiful thing is that we had donations as small as $5! Which shows how easy it is sometimes to make a difference in our world by being a part of sustaining worthy causes.

This challenge was fun and exciting, and was a great way to close 2011 and begin 2012.


And we have some great things planned for you in the next few months as we gear up for this year's BFest12! Some of these events will be announced long in advance, and others will be last minute surprises! To stay abreast of every little detail, get on our Facebook page and our Twitter feed! Some events won't be announced elsewhere...

Click one or click both to get to our pages!

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

And stay in touch! Email us, comment on our facebook page and twitter feed! We love to hear from you and we always pay attention to your thoughts!

Have you read these latest from the Chicago press?


In this week's Chicago Tribune (December 28)
Music Critic John von Rhein writes:

"My candidate for the year's best new undertaking in classical music was the International Beethoven Project's Beethoven Festival 2011, an ambitious, eclectic, barrier-blasting, uneven, ultimately wonderful celebration of Ludwig van Beethoven and composers who fell under his towering influence. For five days and nights, the Chicago Urban Art Society rocked to concerts, master classes and discussions that grappled with the idea of what Beethoven's music means, and can mean, to today's listeners. More, please."


And in Time Out Chicago's year in review
Mia Clarke writes:

"Local pianist George Lepauw's Beethoven Festival was the unexpected smash of the season. Housed in a Pilsen warehouse over five days in September, the interdisciplinary fest showcased music, art, lectures and film inspired by the German giant. Lepauw's dream paid off, with hordes of Chicago-area and guest musicians gathering for heartfelt performances in a laid-back setting. The event was hard evidence of the sense of community among our city's young musicians. More important, it was proof that classical can be performed in radical environments and be inclusive, inviting and exciting to all."

And in the
Andrew Patner writes: 
"An explosion of youth: Chicago now has so many new music ensembles that no critic can follow all of them. ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble) and eighth blackbird tour nationally and internationally. Though most ICE members have migrated to Brooklyn, their presences here are significant and real. Chicago-centered dal niente, Access Contemporary Music, Fifth House, anaphora and Third Coast Percussion are just some of the now regularly presenting new music groups around town.
Meanwhile, enterprising pianist-impresario George Lepauw showed that similar work could be done with good ol' Ludwig van when he staged a weeklong Beethoven festival in Pilsen with the participation and attendance of a multitude of his twentysomething peers.

With all this excitement, we hope you will continue to support this unique project and help us reach financial stability for 2012!

Thank you! 

And to a happy start to 2012  

Taking a bow at the close of Beethoven Festival 2011

An end of year message from George Lepauw,
President of IBP

At the end of each year, I enjoy taking stock. It is a reflective process that helps me determine what I succeeded in doing well, and what I did not do so well and could do better in the coming year! This helps me establish new goals...

2011 was a major turning point for the International Beethoven Project, and I want to thank you for being a part of this journey, wherever you are! We took many risks and pushed the boundaries of what classical music organizations traditionally do, in an effort to bring in new audiences and share our passion with more people. We expanded our reach and our action in a very difficult economic environment, providing great moments of joy for many.

Beethoven Festival 2011 has already become a storied event, with international repercussions; and we also expanded our educational outreach programs. Yet, we struggled to keep ourselves afloat.

On Sunday, as we celebrated Beethoven's 241st birthday with many of you, I laid out two new and very exciting goals for 2012, and put forth one principal observation from our 2011 experiences:

1) Make plans for a second Beethoven Festival in Chicago to take place in September -

Beethoven Festival 2012: Politics and Protests

2) Raise $300,000 to help get us to a place of
stability which will give us the ability to give you the best and be more effective in our communities and beyond

3) We do good. If 2011 taught me anything, it is that music, art, culture, and bringing great people and great collaborations together can make beautiful things happen, and can even change lives. Our mission is meaningful, and we do much more than just provide entertainment: we have a social mission, to help bring communities together, to inspire people to give more of themselves, and to be greater civic participants so that great cities can be greater still.

With many thanks for your continued trust.

George Lepauw, President

Executive and Planning Committees
Aurelien Pederzoli
Catinca Tabacaru
Molly Feingold
Mischa Zupko
Robert McConnell
David Moss
Katherine K. Lee


Some background on the International Beethoven Project:

Founded in January 2009, IBP was established to promote the music and the ideals of Beethoven. The first major initiative of IBP was to promote a newly discovered piano trio of Beethoven's, and organize the World Premiere performance and ensuing recording of this trio by the Beethoven Project Trio (George Lepauw, piano; Sang Mee Lee, violin; Wendy Warner, cello). The World Premiere took place March 1, 2009 at Chicago's historic Murphy Auditorium, in front of global press and live on radio. Then in May 2010, the historic First Recording of this piece and two other rare trios of Beethoven came out on Chicago's Cedille Records, the night that the Beethoven Project Trio premiered the work at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. The Beethoven Project Trio debut recording was a major success, landing at #24 on the Classical Billboard Charts and being chosen as "recording of the week" on most American and Canadian classical radio stations as well as in many newspapers including the Chicago Tribune.

That first mission accomplished, IBP went toward building an even more ambitious project, one that would more truly reveal Beethoven's hopes for humanity along with his unending curiosity and boundless creativity. This is where the idea of a Beethoven Festival came from, along with the Beethoven Spirit Award.

Beethoven Festival 2011 was the first of what we hope will be many to come. It incorporated every aspect of IBP's mission: education, passion, inspiration. Concerts included plenty of chamber music, recitals, baroque, contemporary music, rock, and even an orchestra night with our very own newly founded Beethoven Festival Orchestra. BF2011 also included commissioned music by 19 Chicago composers based on Beethoven's Ode to Joy!

BF2011 was also an ideal place for artistic collaborations across disciplines: more than a dozen artists from around the country and beyond painted new portraits of Beethoven to exhibit at the Festival; and several short films were also made and premiered!

Amidst all of the music making, the Festival also included a panel discussion with world-famous Beethoven scholars; an afternoon of masterclasses for talented young musicians from the Chicago area; contemporary ballet, new poetry, theatrical readings of Beethoven and Mozart letters, and a schedule that included early morning matinees with late night concerts at midnight!

And of course, a bar served delicious drinks and tasty food was sold during intermissions.

To close the Festival was the ceremony for the Beethoven Spirit Award, which was given posthumously to Archduke Otto von Habsburg, and received in person by Prince Galitzine on the family's behalf. Herv� de la Vauvre, recipient of the award last year, introduced the Prince and handed the award to him. The Beethoven Spirit Award is given to a person who has demonstrated "extraordinary service to humanity". Archduke Otto von Habsburg, who died at age 98 this past July, fought his entire life for a better Europe, especially against Nazism and Communism.


Take a look at some of our great Beethoven Festival 2011 press:



Newsletter - Dance Drop Shadow Image

You can look over the schedule of events that took place during Beethoven Festival 2011 here:

Festival Schedule

(It actually all happened, and more!!!)

At a glance... (for more details, please visit website)

Wednesday 9/14/2011


4pm    Opener: Festival Mix 1: Beethoven, Bach, Mozart

Winston Choi & George Lepauw: Mozart and Beethoven 4 hand piano sonatas

Spektral Quartet in Trio Form: 3 Haydn Divertimenti 

David Lisker & George Lepauw: Beethoven Violin and Piano Sonata No. 1 

Bach & Beethoven Ensemble: Bach Organ Trio Sonata 

Mayuko Kamio: Bach Chaconne for Solo Violin 

Beethoven Project Players: Beethoven String Trio Opus 3 


7pm    Opening Reception


8pm    Opening Concert: Mozart, Beethoven & Brahms
Bach & Beethoven Ensemble: Telemann Don Quixote Suite
Beethoven Project Players: Beethoven Piano Quartet No. 3
Avalon Quartet with pianist George Lepauw: Mozart Piano Quartet in G Minor
Avalon Quartet with pianist Jonathan Yates: Brahms Piano Quartet in C Minor


10pm   Nightcap & Dessert


11pm   Late-Night Concert
Bach & Beethoven Ensemble: Vivaldi "Folia"
Aurelien Pederzoli & George Lepauw: Mozart violin sonatas and letter readings



Thursday 9/15/2011


4pm    Afternoon Concert Festival Mix 2: Brahms, Schumann, Beethoven
Mayuko Kamio & George Lepauw: Beethoven "Kreutzer" sonata for violin and piano
David Moss & George Lepauw: Brahms viola sonata No. 2
Winston Choi & MingHuan Xu: Schumann sonata for violin and piano No. 1
Aurelien Pederzoli & George Lepauw: Mozart violin sonata in C Major
Beethoven Project Players (Sang Mee Lee, Mathias Tacke, David Moss, Alex Smith, Andrew Snow): Beethoven String Quintet Opus 4


7pm    Reception


8pm    Concert: Beethoven & Brahms
Mayuko Kamio & George Lepauw: Beethoven violin and piano sonatas No. 5 (Spring) and No. 6, and Brahms sonata No. 1
Beethoven Project Players (Mathias Tacke, Austin Wulliman, David Moss, Alex Smith, Peter Thomas): Beethoven "Kreutzer" sonata arranged for string quintet


10pm   Nightcap & Dessert


11pm    Late-Night Concert: Bach's Art of the Fugue &
Untempered Improvisations

Winston Choi, piano
Aaron Krister Johnson, fortepiano (1818 Broadwood)



Friday 9/16/2011


4pm    Beethoven Today: New Music Showcase curated by Mischa Zupko
Anaphora, Dal Niente Ensemble, Duo Diorama, Fulcrum Point New Music Project, College of DuPage Chamber Singers, Quintet Attacca, Axiom Brass


6:30pm Reception


7:30pm Beethoven Festival Orchestra: GRAND ACADEMY CONCERT
Heather Wittels, Concertmaster

Part I (Conductor: Robert McConnell)
Mozart Magic Flute Overture
Beethoven Consecration of the House Overture
Beethoven "Emperor" Piano Concerto with George Lepauw, piano

Part II (Conductor: Daniel Boico)
Beethoven Violin Romances in G and F Major with Sang Mee Lee, violin
Penderecki String Sinfonietta

Part III (Conductor: Daniel Boico)
Beethoven "Eroica" Symphony


12am    Goldberg Project: New Ways of Hearing Bach's Goldbergs
Lara Downes, piano: 13 Ways of Looking at the Goldbergs
Beethoven Project Players (Aurelien Pederzoli, David Moss, Christopher Ferrer): The Goldberg Variations For String Trio arranged by Dmitry Sitkovetsky



Saturday 9/17/2011


10:30am    Matinee: Beethoven's influence in works for viola
Anthony Devroye, viola & George Lepauw, piano:
Beethoven Horn Sonata Arranged for viola and piano, Opus 17

Schubert Arpeggione Sonata

Shostakovich sonata for viola and piano 


1pm    Young Performers Concert & Masterclass: All Beethoven



6pm Beethoven Panel Discussion: Quest for Beethoven-Modern Perceptions
with James F. Green, Alessandra Comini, Benedetta Saglietti and Stephen Alltop


8:00pm    Beethoven for Piano Solo, Introduced by New Poems
Winston Choi, piano: Beethoven Preludes in all keys and Boulez "Incises"
Marta Aznavoorian, piano: Beethoven Piano Sonata Opus 31 no. 3 "Tempest"
George Lepauw, piano: Beethoven Piano Sonata Opus 53 "Waldstein"
Winston Choi, piano: Beethoven Piano Sonata Opus 101
Marta Aznavoorian & George Lepauw: 4 hand works
Bret Klersfeld, poet: Poems inspired by Beethoven's Piano Sonatas


11pm       Film Premieres & Art Party


12am       Jazz-Rock Concert: Reed Mathis of Tea Leaf Green & his Band
Reed Mathis's own arrangement of Beethoven's "Eroica" and "Pastoral" Symphonies. Not to be missed!

Sunday 9/18/2011


12pm    Matinee
Larry Combs, clarinet, David Moss, viola, George Lepauw, piano:
Mozart "Kegelstatt" Trio
Larry Combs, clarinet & George Lepauw, piano: Brahms clarinet sonata no. 2
Sang Mee Lee, violin & George Lepauw, piano: Beethoven violin sonata no. 8

2pm      Lunch


3pm      Reading: Beethoven's Letters


4pm      Bagatelle Project World Premieres by 20 composers on the Ode to Joy
with pianists Winston Choi, Marta Aznavoorian and George Lepauw
with new works by Shulamit Ran, Jim Stephenson, Mischa Zupko, Aaron Krister Johnson, Sarah J. Ritch, Greg Hutter, Kirsten Broberg, George Flynn, Patricia Moorehead, Robert Lombardo, Kurt Westerberg, Marta Ptaszinska, Less Kesselman, Garrett Byrnes, Lawrence Axelrod, Ilya Levinson, Robert Patterson, Kristin Kuster, Carter Pann...


5pm      Closing Concert
Winston Choi, George Lepauw & Marta Aznavoorian
Beethoven 4 hand works ending with the composer's own arrangement from the string quartet of the Grosse Fuge.


6pm      Closing Public Reception



7pm      VIP-only Event: Closing Night Celebration
Champagne, Hors-d'Oeuvres, Desserts, Presentation of annual Beethoven Spirit Award to Dr. Otto von Habsburg (posthumously) received by Prince Piotr Galitzine

Top Festival performers and ensembles include:

George Lepauw, Winston Choi, Marta Aznavoorian, Lara Downes, Jonathan Yates, Aaron Johnson, Aurelien Pederzoli, Mayuko Kamio, David Lisker, Sang Mee Lee, MingHuan Xu, Mathias Tacke, Anthony DeVroye, Larry Combs, Spektral Quartet, Avalon Quartet, Bach & Beethoven Period Instrument Ensemble, Beethoven Project Players, Anaphora, Dal Niente Ensemble, Fulcrum Point New Music Project, Duo Diorama, College of DuPage Chamber Singers, Quintet Attacca, Axiom Brass, Reed Mathis and his Band, Beethoven Festival Orchestra with conductors Daniel Boico and Robert McConnell...

Festival Artists:

Rachel Monosov, Carly Ivan Garcia, Michael Cuffe, Gail Stoicheff, Rhom, Brian Leo,
David J. Eichenberg, Amy Hill, Hugh Leeman, Amina Ahmed, Maya Kalabic, Jason Pallas, Emily Cunningham, Mike Cahill etc.

Festival Scholars:
Alessandra Comini, James F. Green, Benedetta Saglietti, Stephen Alltop

Festival Poet:
Bret Klersfeld

Top Image: Beethoven by Carly Ivan Garcia, on Display at Beethoven Festival 2011

Artist and photographer credits in left column:
Amy Hill, Albert J. Kim, Bradley Weiss, Mark Hauser, Max Anisimov, Rachel Monosov, Didier Lepauw
Newsletter - Dance Drop Shadow Image