BEIRUT: With a piano, a cello, and two violins, the Department of Communication Arts at the Lebanese American University paid tribute to Ludwig van Beethoven on his 250th birthday. The honoring concluded the Imagine Workshop & Concert Series' spring 2020 residency.
Beethoven, a composer and pianist born in the late 18th century, is a staple in classical music. He is also known as one of the three B’s in music: Bach, Brahms, and Beethoven.
“Beethoven was the third pillar in the classical era and he changed the face of classical music forever,” said Seba Ali, founder and artistic director of IWCS, adding that before Beethoven, “music was reserved and kind of artificial with so many rules. Beethoven changed that completely.”
In a crowded theater, the artists played a number of pieces. One of those pieces was a g-minor piano quartet, composed by Johannes Brahms and was first premiering in Hamburg in 1861.
“I was probably seven years old when I learned this quartet and it has such a special place in my heart, so I had to include it,” said Ali. “Because the piece is written so well, it is such a pleasure to play. It’s like architecture; when a building is built cleverly, you feel like you want to live in it forever. I just feel like playing this piece and that’s it."
Three artists joined Ali on stage for this hour-long concert. Playing the cello was Ani Khalayjian, co-artistic director at LYRICA Chamber Music Series, and the violin were Chris Jenkins, associate dean for academic support at Oberlin Conservatory, and Salley Koo, a regular performer and violin professor at Adelphi University.
The concert ended with a standing ovation.
“I just loved everything about it; they all looked so passionate and I could tell they put a lot into playing everything,” said Ameena Kaddoura, an LAU student who attended the concert, adding that she was excited for more residencies to come.
Another attendee, Tima Kanaan, echoed Kaddoura’s thoughts saying, “the music was so interesting and beautiful to listen to. They did an amazing job playing.”
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