Rhinegold Photo credit: London Mozart Players
Howard Shelley, who will celebrate his 70th birthday by performing all five Beethoven piano concertos in a single afternoon

Josephine Miles

Howard Shelley to perform all five Beethoven concertos in one day

12:49, 21st November 2019

To celebrate his 70th birthday and the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, pianist and conductor Howard Shelley will perform all five Beethoven piano concertos in a single afternoon

Conducting the London Mozart Players from the keyboard, Shelley will give his ‘Celebrating with Beethoven’ marathon performance in a series of three concerts on Sunday 8 March 2020 at St John’s Smith Square, London.

The concertos will be performed in chronological order of composition, beginning with the Second Concerto Op 19 which, despite being published after the Concerto No 1 Op 15, was the first concerto Beethoven composed (in 1787-89). Shelley will preface each concerto performance with a personal introduction, illustrating how Beethoven exploited the dramatic potential of the piano.

Howard Shelley (Photo credit: Jackie Freshfield)

‘When the London Mozart Players asked me what I’d like as a 70th birthday gift, I couldn’t think of anything more wonderful than to play all Beethoven’s magnificent piano concertos in one day, directing this great orchestra from the piano,’ said Shelley. ‘The joy and challenge of performing these five masterpieces in one sweep is the most thrilling and indulgent birthday present I could wish for. 2020 also sees the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, so this is the perfect opportunity for us to pay tribute to that most influential and revolutionary of classical composers.’

Julia Desbruslais, executive director of the London Mozart Players, commented: ‘We love performing with Howard, he is the godfather of the LMP family and we are absolutely thrilled that we will be joining him on stage for this epic day of Beethoven piano concertos. It is the perfect programme with which to mark this special day and celebrate our very important relationship.’

Shelley is conductor laureate of the London Mozart Players, having performed, toured and recorded with the orchestra for 45 years. Shelley has also been principal conductor of Sweden’s Uppsala Chamber Orchestra, and he has performed at the piano with leading orchestras and conductors around the world including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Pierre Boulez, Adrian Boult and Mariss Jansons.


Howard Shelley: Celebrating with Beethoven

Sunday 8 March 2020: 3:00pm, 5:00pm, 7:30pm

St John’s Smith Square, London


3–4:15pm: Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos 2 & 1

5–6:30pm: Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos 3 & 4

7.30–8:30pm: Beethoven Piano Concerto No 5

Concerts can be booked separately, or book all three performances for £45+ booking fee


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