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Beethoven’s Septet Goes Modern

The Boston-based ensembles Sound Icon and Winsor Music premiere composition commissions by composers Heather Stebbins and Diana M. Rodriguez alongside a performance of Beethoven's well-loved Septet, op. 20.

In celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, the Goethe-Institut Boston commissioned the composers Heather Stebbins and Diana Rodriguez, both with strong ties to Boston, to compose works based on his Septet in E-flat major, op. 20. The ensembles Sound Icon and Winsor Music will premiere the new works alongside Beethoven’s septet. A recording of the live performance at the renovated Goethe-Institut Grand Hall will be streamed via YouTube.

Beethoven’s septet, scored for clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin, viola and cello, was one of his most popular and frequently performed works during his lifetime. The exceptional instrumentation and the divertimento-like format with six movements instead of four added to its fame and helped it become one of Beethoven’s most arranged works. Today the septet is rarely performed.

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