Ian Pace plays Beethoven's first symphony, in the rarely performed transcription for solo piano by Franz Liszt, alongside the piano sonata No. 12 in A♭ major, a work Beethoven completed around the same time as the symphony.
This concert is the second in a series throughout 2022, in which Pace plans to perform a complete cycle of Beethoven-Liszt symphonies. The programmes will include complimentary works inspired and illuminated by the symphonies, including music by Schumann, Berlioz, Ives and Finnissy, and other music by Beethoven and Liszt.
Besides being a 'portable' version of Beethoven's orchestral masterpieces, these virtuoso transcriptions are a demonstration of Liszt's exceptional pianism, an insight into the works' structures and material, and foreground perceived demonic and other macabre elements in the music, which relate to Liszt’s original compositions.
Dr Ian Pace is a pianist of long-established reputation, specialising in the farthest reaches of musical modernism and transcendental virtuosity, as well as a writer and musicologist focusing on issues of performance, music and society and the avant-garde.
Based in London since 1993, he has pursued an active international career, performing in 24 countries and at most major European venues and festivals. His vast repertoire of all periods focuses particularly upon music of the 20th and 21st Century. He has given world premieres of over 250 piano works.
He has played with orchestras including the Orchestre de Paris under Christoph Eschenbach (with whom he premiered and recorded Dusapin's piano concerto À Quia), the SWF Orchestra in Stuttgart under Rupert Huber, and the Dortmund Philharmonic under Bernhard Kontarsky (with whom he gave a series of very well-received performances of Ravel's Concerto for the Left Hand).
He has recorded nearby 40 CDs, including Michael Finnissy's five-and-a-half hour The History of Photography in Sound (of which he gave the world premiere in London in 2001) and the complete piano works of Brian Ferneyhough. Forthcoming recordings include the Piano Sonatas of Pierre Boulez, and John Cage's Music of Changes.
He has previously held positions at the University of Southampton and Dartington College of Arts, before becoming Reader in Music and Head of the Department of Music at City, University of London. His areas of academic expertise include 19th century performance practice (especially relating to the music of Liszt and Brahms), modernist aesthetics, the Frankfurt School of thought, contemporary performance practice and issues, music and culture under fascism, the post-1945 avant-garde, in particular in West Germany, and issues of critical musicology and musicological method.
He has contributed to and co-edited a number of monographs and volumes, including Critical Perspectives on Michael Finnissy: Bright Futures, Dark Pasts, co-edited with Nigel McBride, (Routledge, 2019) and Researching and Writing on Contemporary Art and Artists: Challenges, Practices, and Complexities, co-edited with Christopher Wiley (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020). Forthcoming publications include monographs on music in the Weimar Republic and post-war Germany, a book on Brahms Performance Practice, and a history of specialist musical education in Britain.