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November 12, 2001

Will Ransom continues ode to Beethoven with Nov. 16 show

By Deb Hammacher


Music at Emory and the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta continue their presentation of the entire cycle of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas in eight recitals by noted pianists from around the world with a performance by the University’s own William Ransom, Nov. 16 at 8:15 p.m. in the Performing Arts Studio.

Each concert in the series is preceded by a lecture setting that evening’s program in the context of Beethoven’s life and career. The Nov. 16 lecture will be delivered by Bill McGlaughlin, host of Minnesota Public Radio’s “St. Paul Sunday.” The lecture will begin at 7:15 p.m., with the performance to follow one hour later.

Featured at this performance will be sonata No. 25, in G Major, Op. 79 (1809); No. 21, in C Major, Op. 53 (“Waldstein,” 1804); No. 30, in E Major, Op. 109 (1820); and No. 23, in F minor, Op. 57 (“Appassionata,” 1805). Created over the span of his lifetime (1770–1827), Beethoven’s sonatas for piano include some of his earliest and some of his lastest works.

“The 32 pieces express the joy and suffering, sensuality and spirituality that make Beethoven one of the most enduring and popular composers of all time,” said Ransom, the series organizer as well as Mary Emerson Professor of Music and artistic director of the Emory Chamber Music Society.

According to Ransom, having eight different artists perform the cycle will provide different perspectives on the body of music. “This is one of the most exciting projects I have been involved in,” he said, “and I am thrilled to be able to put it together for Atlanta.”

Ransom has performed around the world in recital, as a soloist with orchestras and as a chamber musician. He studied piano with William Masselos at the Juilliard School and also has worked with Theodore Lettvin and Gaby Casadesus. He has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Steven Isserlis and members of the Tokyo, Cleveland and Lark string quartets.

Ransom had his Carnegie Hall debut in the spring with poet John Stone, formerly dean of admissions for the School of Medicine. Ransom also serves as artistic director of the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival in Highlands, N.C., and a faculty member of the Kamisaibara Pianists Camp in Japan.

The series is sponsored by the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta and the Steinway Piano Galleries, and its performances are being recorded for future broadcast on WABE, 90.1 FM.

General admission tickets are $15 each. For information or to order tickets, call the Arts at Emory box office at 404-727-5050 or e-mail


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