Nicholls Celebrates Beethoven’s Birthday

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Beethoven’s sonatas will fill the halls of a local university as pianists from around the world gather to pay homage to his 250th birthday.


The multi-day event will begin on January 25 at 7:30 p.m. at Nicholls State University, and will stretch into May. It will showcase award winning pianists from around the world.


“Beethoven 250 is a celebration of one of history’s most important and influential composers,” Dr. Richard Jeric said. “Some listeners might experience sonatas they have never heard before. Others may be surprised by a fresh look at an acclaimed sonata. In either case, each sonata will be performed at the highest level of artistry.”


Dr. Jeric, a Piano Instructor, will be up first, performing five sonatas which include “Les Adieux.” he has performed around the world including Carnegie Hall. His other achievements include Naftzger Piano Award, and the 2012 Artist Presentation Society Audition in St. Louis.


Dr. Luciana Soares, also a Nicholls Professor, will perform three sonatas including “Pathetique Sonata,” on February 1. A native of Brazil, Dr. Soares has performed soloist and collaborative pianist in the U.S. and abroad.


Performing “Tempest,” will be Dr. Adonis Gonzalez, on February 8. The Cuban native’s debut album, “Adios a Cuba,” received the Latin Grammy nomination. Dr. Gonzalez is a professor of music at Alabama State University.


On February 15, Mathilde Handlesman will perform five sonatas including Beethoven’s Sonata for Four Hands with Dr. Jeric at 7:30 p.m. Born in Paris, Handlesman has won numerous U.S. and international competitions. Having played piano since four, she regularly plays as a solo and chamber pianist in the U.S and Europe.


February 22 will see Dr. Diego Caetano perform three sonatas including “Waldstei,” at 7:30 p.m. Brazillian born, Dr. Caetano has been featured in music festivals all around the world and even performed in Carnegie Hall.


Three sonatas will be performed on March 7 by Brian Woods, including “Hammerklavier.” He will be performing in several 250th Beethoven celebrations tthis year, and has had success at the Verona International Piano competition, the America Prize and the St. Louis artist Presentation Society auditions.


Pianist John O’ Conor will perform three sonatas on April 21. The Dublin native has performed for over 40 years. He won 1st place at the International Beethoven Piano Competition in Vienna, 1973.


The final concert of the season will be a student performance. Eight sonatas will be featured, including “Moonlight” sonata. The concert is free, and will begin at 3 p.m. on May 2. O’ Conor will offer the students a masterclass and work with the students.


“Being a part of this project will be a highlight of their studies at Nicholls. And it will be an experience of which few other piano majors can boast,” said Dr. Jeric.


Entry will begin an hour before each performance, and bar service will be offered. A pre-concert lecture will take place at 7 p.m. for each performance, to teach about the music being performed.


Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or phone 448-4600. Nicholls staff, faculty, and students have free admission.


Sponsorship for the concert is still available. Money raised will go back into the music department to support students. For more info, visit