Coming up in Philly Music: Celebrating Beethoven’s birthday with PCMS

2 minute read
Cellist Marcy Rosen will play in the trio celebrating Beethoven's birthday with PCMS. (Photo courtesy of Marcy Rosen.)
Cellist Marcy Rosen will play in the trio celebrating Beethoven's birthday with PCMS. (Photo courtesy of Marcy Rosen.)

Great teams have deep benches. The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society had to schedule a substitute for the Grammy-winning string quartet that was supposed to present its next livestream. PCMS replaced them with three of the most distinguished musicians on its roster, a clutch decision for the celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday.

Three’s company, too

The string players on the new program are violinist Mark Steinberg and cellist Marcy Rosen, two performers who are primarily known for their association with two top string quartets, the Brentano and the Mendelssohn. They’re both accomplished soloists besides, regularly filling solo roles with major orchestras and major chamber music series. The pianist in the trio, Jonathan Biss, is one of the leading contemporary interpreters of Beethoven, a performer and educator who received appropriate accolades when BSR’s Linda Holt reviewed his November 23 PCMS livestream.

Rosen and Steinberg will each perform a Beethoven sonata with Biss as accompanist. Then the group will join forces and play Beethoven’s second trio for piano, violin, and cello. The program will be livestreamed from one of PCMS’s most popular venues—the Benjamin Franklin Hall of the American Philosophical Society on Chestnut Street, half a block from Independence Hall.

The music community is marking Beethoven’s 250th birthday all through 2020. We don’t know the exact date of his birth. He was baptized on December 17, according to surviving records, and it’s assumed he was born the day before. The pieces on this program were all created when he was an up-and-coming young composer, long before anyone felt the exact date of his birth was a major data point in the history of music.

What, When, Where, and Accessibility:

The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society will livestream its Beethoven’s Birthday concert on Wednesday, December 16, at 6pm. The livestream can be viewed on the PCMS website, pay-what-you-wish. The video may remain available for 72 hours after the performance “subject to the approval of the artists.”

Image Description: A woman wearing a red and black garment poses in front of a gray backdrop with her cello.

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