Reviews

This was a breathtaking musical experience with two of the brightest stars in the music firmament.

Krysia Osostowicz impressed immediately with her graceful platform style. Her musical pedigree includes study at the Yehudi Menuhin School, Cambridge University and in Salzburg with Sandor Vegh. She founded the award-winning Dante Quartet, is director of the Dante Summer Festival and a professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Daniel Tong is a teacher, writer and festival director. He has broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, is founder of Wye Valley Chamber Music Festival and of the Winchester Chamber Music Festival.
He is also head of piano chamber music at Birmingham Conservatoire and teaches piano at Birmingham University.

The programme was titled the Beethoven Plus Project following the pair’s invitation to ten composers to write a five-minute companion piece inspired by, and perhaps including a phrase or two from, one of the sonatas.

Beethoven’s Sonata No.1 formed the basis for Ludwig Games by Jonathan Dove, a work full of variety in mood, tempo and tone with very dramatic effects. Osostowicz and Tong showed great rapport performing almost as one.

The piece gave Tong an opportunity to showcase his remarkable talent in the variations as well as in Sonata No. 1 with all its own changes of mood and style.

Beethoven’s Sonata No.4 provided raw material for composer Judith Bingham’s variation, The Neglected Child, inspired by a comment that it was the neglected child among the sonatas.

The great Kreutzer Sonata inspired the Tarantella Furiosa Op. 47 by Matthew Taylor. It certainly did reflect the hugely energetic Kreutzer to which Osostowicz and Tong did full justice, again playing as one. It was remarkable to experience two performers so totally in tune with one another.

Darlington and Stockton Times, Irene MacDonald

ABERDEEN PERFORMING ARTS  2015, BEETHOVEN PLUS, 1  MUSIC HALL, ABERDEEN
Wednesday, 04 November 2015  

Contemporary music nowadays covers a wider range of compositional styles than ever before, and this year’s Sound Festival has certainly stepped up to the mark in this respect. In the Music Hall we heard the first in a series of five concerts given by Krysia Osostowicz and Daniel Tong, who will play all ten of Beethoven’s sonatas for violin and piano, each performed along with a new companion piece by a succession of living composers.

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BEETHOVEN PLUS, 2   ABERDEEN SALVATION ARMY CITADEL
Thursday, 05 November 2015  

If there had been a Sound Festival in Beethoven’s day, his music would surely have been included in its programming because so much that he composed was radically new at the time. The op. 47 sonata – known as the “Kreutzer” – was so revolutionary that its dedicatee, the great violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer, never performed it, calling it “unplayable and incomprehensible”. more

BEETHOVEN PLUS, 3    PHOENIX HALL, NEWTON DEE
Friday, 06 November 2015  

Today we heard Beethoven’s sonatas no. 3 in E flat and no. 7 in C minor, along with two new companion pieces by Elspeth Brooke (b.1981) and Philip Ashworth (b. 1983).  In the E flat major sonata the heroic piano part was magnificently played by Daniel Tong in a dizzyingly exciting performance. more

BEETHOVEN PLUS, 4    PEACOCK VISUAL ARTS, ABERDEEN
Saturday, 07 November 2015

In this recital, Beethoven’s sonatas no. 8 in G and no. 6 in A were paired with new pieces by Jeremy Thurlow and Austrian composer Kurt Schwertsik. more

BEETHOVEN PLUS, 5    QUEEN’S CROSS CHURCH
Monday, 09 November 2015  

The fifth recital in the Beethoven Plus series was also the final event in this year’s Sound Festival, featuring Beethoven’s violin sonatas nos. 2 and 4, and completing this remarkable musical odyssey with his final sonata, op. 96 in G. The three new commissions in this concert were delightfully varied.  more

Sunday Times, Paul Driver 

“Across London, I enjoyed two of numerous Beethoven evenings being presented this autumn at Kings Place: notably the fine performances by Krysia Osostowicz and the pianist Daniel Tong of four of the violin sonatas, each matched with a commissioned short piece. more

The Press, York by Richard Powell

“Placing old and new side by side can lead to unexpected revelations. Intriguing, then, was the prospect of the “Beethoven Plus” project, the brainchild of violinist Krysia Osostowicz and pianist Daniel Tong. more

The Strad, Edward Bhesania more