Kreutzer Sonata & Sonata Mulattica
Place & Time
Perkinson Recital Hall
Richmond VA
May 18, 2021
7:30 PM

Ning Feng (violin)
Anton Nel (piano)
Sheila Johnson (speaker)

Beethoven Kreutzer Sonata, Violin Sonata No. 9, Op. 47
Rita Dove Sonata Mulattica: A Life in Five Movements and a Short Play (excerpts from)

To honor the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth, arguably his greatest Sonata for piano and violin, “Kreutzer Sonata” will be performed interwoven with readings from U.S. poet laureate Rita Dove’s collection of poems, “Sonata Mulattica: A Life in Five Movements and a Short Play”, published in 2009 about the life of Afro-European violinist George Bridgetower (1778–1860) .

What we now know as the “Kreutzer Sonata” was originally dedicated to George Bridgetower as "Sonata mulattica composta per il mulatto Brischdauer [Bridgetower], gran pazzo e compositore mulattico". Shortly after completion, the work was premiered by Bridgetower and Beethoven on May 24, 1803 at the unusually early hour of 8:00 am!

After the premiere performance Beethoven and Bridgewater had a falling out, causing Beethoven to change the dedication to Rodolphe Kreutzer, who was considered the finest violinist of the day.

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