Vestards Šimkus, piano
The name of pianist Vestards Šimkus is well known not only to hardened connoisseurs of piano music. Dubbed as inspiring and phenomenal, charming and expressive, surprising and original, the talented master of the black and white keys has thrilled countless listeners, including juries of prestigious international competitions and erudite critics, both in his native Latvia and in distant lands. The winner of the Grand Music Prize has dedicated his latest concert program to Ludwig van Beethoven’s monumental cycle “33 Variations on a Diabelli Theme”. The beginnings of this masterpiece are connected with the invitation of the Austrian composer, pedagogue and music publisher Anton Diabelli in 1819 to almost fifty composers, including Schubert and Liszt, to write variations on a waltz theme composed by him. Even the youngest of the Viennese classicists responded to the call, creating a masterpiece that is often described as “the best example of the variation genre” and “a microcosm of Beethoven’s art”, also “the most important opus of piano music” and “Beethoven’s most reliable composition”.
Program: Ludwig van Beethoven