The audience at the Turner Sims concert hall on the University’s Highfield Campus was recently treated to a marathon of Beethoven, courtesy of two of Southampton’s local alumni.
The ‘Beethovathon’, a romp through all nine of the great composer’s symphonies in a single day (21 March 2015), was the creation of composers and University of Southampton alumni Craig Lawton and Paul Ingram.
The pair conducted a hand-picked 50-piece orchestra and choir of 75 for ten hours of back-to-back music. The great composer’s symphonies were played without pause in the order in which they were composed, finishing with his ninth, widely recognised as one of the finest pieces of music written in the Western world.
Audience members were able to book for either the full spectacle, or a block of three symphonies, and were fully immersed in the unique brand of madness that inspired the musicians to perform for so long. Paul Lawton, in an interview, described the venture as “almost laughable” but pointed out that this was only fitting for an event timed to fit in with Red Nose Day.
The concert coincided with a special exhibition at the Hartley Library, which exhibited three Beethoven scores for public view. A fantastic £4,849.06 was raised on the day for Comic Relief.
Local musicians Craig and Paul are no strangers to unorthodox musical ventures. Five years ago, the musical duo concocted and conducted the ‘Haydathon’, all 104 Haydn Symphonies performed in a single weekend. The ‘Beethovathon’ was inspired by the success of the previous event.
For a full programme of upcoming events at the Turner Sims concert hall, visit www.turnersims.co.uk