Ruth Padel
Author and Poet
Karl Lutchmayer
Nirupama Menon Rao
Co-Founder, South Asian Symphony Foundation
South Asian Symphony Orchestra

This podcast presents the third segment of our four-part series ‘Beethoven Variations: A Poet’s Journey through the Music and Life of Beethoven’ with renowned British poet Ruth Padel and eminent pianist Karl Lutchmayer. This series has been put together by Prateeti Punja Ballal.

In Part III of the series, titled ‘The Essence of Romanticism’, Ruth and Karl take us through the time when Beethoven is thirty-five, and Napoleon’s army captures and occupies Vienna and its Empire. Along with his anguish in this time of war, he keeps losing chances of love. Through it all, he continues writing works that will live forever, such as the iconic Fifth Symphony, after which this episode gets its title.

In this four-part series, Ruth Padel takes us on an intimate journey through Beethoven’s life and music, illustrated by her poetry from her recent book. Professor of Poetry at King’s College London, she has written many collections of poetry, and books of non-fiction and fiction. Her earlier book Darwin: A Life in Poems, released on Darwin’s centenary, captured her great great grandfather memorably.

Concert pianist and lecturer, Karl Lutchmayer held an academic lectureship at the Trinity College of Music in London, now Trinity Laban, for fifteen years. He has played at all the major London concert halls and across the world, and his London lecture-recital series, Conversational Concerts, garnered critical and public acclaim. Karl performs Beethoven’s music for us and gives us his insights into its composition and context.

Ruth and Karl are joined, for the Fifth Symphony, by guest artists from the South Asian Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra’s Founder-Trustee, Ambassador Nirupama Menon Rao. The Orchestra is a peace-building initiative made up of musicians from the countries of South Asia and the South Asian diaspora.

The next episode will include guest artists, soprano Nina Kanter, cellist David Waterman and the Endellion String Quartet, one of the world’s leading quartets.

This episode was also released on our YouTube Channel – it can be viewed here.

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