Archduke Rudolph: Beethoven’s Pupil and Patron

Archduke Rudolph: Beethoven’s Pupil and Patron


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

7:30pm - 9:30pm

Bohemian National Hall

321 E 73rd St, New York, NY 10021

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Ignat Solzhenitsyn, piano
Korbinian Altenberger, violin
Na-Young Baek, cello
Illustrated talk by Ignat Solzhenitsyn

Beethoven Violin Sonata No.10 in G major, Op.96
Beethoven Piano Trio in B-flat major, Op. 97 “Archduke”

The most significant of Beethoven’s noble patrons during his years in Vienna was Archduke Rudolph of Austria, youngest brother of the Emperor Franz. Beethoven began teaching Rudolph piano in around 1803–04, and the archduke later became his sole composition student. He was also the only one of his patrons whose financial support continued uninterrupted until the composer’s death. Beethoven generally scorned aristocrats, but it appears his relationship with Rudolph was different. In the composer’s own words, the archduke treated him ‘like a friend, not a servant’. Beethoven dedicated fifteen of his most important works to Rudolph (more than to any other individual), including the Fourth and Fifth Piano Concertos and, following the archduke’s appointment as a cardinal and then as Archbishop of Olmütz in 1819, the Missa solemnis. In this programme we present two of the chamber works dedicated to him – the Violin Sonata in G major, Op. 96 and the ‘Archduke’ Piano Trio, Op. 97. Join us as we explore Rudolph’s life and his unusual friendship with the great composer.