Bath Festivals help celebrate Beethoven’s birthday.

Bath will be joining next year’s worldwide celebrations to mark the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth with Bath Festivals staging a series of six concerts of the composer’s entire cycle of 16 String Quartets.

Tickets go on general release from 9.30am on Thursday 7 November.

Three of the concerts will take place in March, with three more in May, during The Bath Festival, forming part of a global programme of musical and cultural tributes to the world’s best known composer. The Bath Festivals Beethoven String Quartets cycle will be performed by the Carducci String Quartet in March and the Heath Quartet in May, two of the finest string quartets in the world.

Carducci String Quartet


The six concerts will be augmented by an illuminating talk about the music and its composer, by Classic FM broadcaster John Suchet, author of Beethoven: The Man Revealed.

John Suchet

Bath Festivals’ chief executive Ian Stockley said: “We are very excited to be able to offer audiences the chance to go on the greatest of musical journeys to hear the entire cycle of Beethoven’s 16 String Quartets. This series of concerts performed by these two highly acclaimed quartets with international reputations will be impressively memorable, something for the festivals and the city to be proud of.”

For the first time Bath Festivals is offering half price tickets to young people aged 25 and under, which means they will be able to enjoy the live music experience for as little as £6.

The early quartets were written when Ludwig van Beethoven was in his twenties, they sparkle with youthful exuberance, leading to the symphonic Razumovsky quartets of his middle period.  His so-called late quartets, written in the final years of his life when he was profoundly deaf, offer an extraordinary mixture of grandeur, intimacy and beauty, offering intimations of mortality and the sublime.

 Heath Quartet

The six Bath Festivals concerts will take place on: Friday 27 March,  7.30pm, Saturday 28 March 11am and Sunday 29 March, 11am, all at the Guildhall, Bath, Friday 22 May, 7.30pm, Saturday 23 May, 11am and Sunday 24 May, 11am, all at the Assembly Rooms, Bath. Tickets are £12, £26 and £35. Concessions are half price. The talk, Beethoven: The Man Revealed with John Suchet, takes place on Saturday 28 March at 3pm at the Guildhall Bath. Tickets are £10.

Tickets are available from: , or Bath Box Office, tel: 01225 463362 or in person from Bath Box Office, 2 Terrace Walk, Bath BA1 1LN.

Discounts and multibuy offers
Tickets will be half price for concessions (young people under 26, students, unemployed benefit claimants, DSS state pension holders and visitors with a disability). When you book for four or more concerts in the series there is a 20% discount.

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Beethoven 2020
Composer Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn in December 1770 and died in Vienna aged 56 in March 1827. His extraordinary body of work includes much-loved pieces, including the Pastoral Symphony, the Moonlight Sonata, the Emperor Piano Concerto and his 9th Choral Symphony. Through 2020 his work will be performed throughout the world and, thanks to advances in technology, his music will reach a greater audience than ever before.

Carducci String Quartet
Described by The Strad as presenting “a masterclass in unanimity of musical purpose, in which severity could melt seamlessly into charm and drama into geniality”, the Carducci String Quartet is recognised as one of today’s most acclaimed string quartets. The Times said: “The Carducci String Quartet were stunning . . . they are clearly musicians of high intelligence.” The Anglo-Irish quartet will be playing a family concert at the Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon on Thursday 14 December.

Heath Quartet
The dynamic and charismatic Heath Quartet is fast earning a reputation as one of the most exciting British chamber ensembles of the moment.  The Telegraph said: “The Heaths took all the difficulties in their stride, performing with fierce intelligence and feeling passion and virtuosity.” The Heath Quartet will be in Bath playing at the Mozart Fest on Monday 11 November.

John Suchet
John Suchet is now in his 10th year as presenter of Classic FM’s flagship morning programme with an audience of 2.9m listeners to his midweek daytime show. The broadcaster and writer is a recognised authority on the life and music of Beethoven, with six books published, and a seventh — an anniversary edition of Beethoven: The Man Revealed to be published in September 2020. 

Bath Festivals
Bath Festivals is an arts charity funded by donations, supporters and sponsors, also from ticket sales. The Bath Festival 2020, will take place from Friday 15 May to Sunday 24 May. The Bath Children’s Literature Festival 2020 will take place from Friday 25 September to Sunday 4 October. There is also a year-round Creative Learning Programme working with people of all ages in the community.

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