Looking Ahead to Beethoven's 150th Birthday

Apr 5, 2019

Pianist Richard Fountain is on a quest to perform all the Beethoven symphonies. The next in this series is happening at Lubbock Christian University on Tuesday night. Dr. Richard Fountain joins this episode of The Front Row to give more information.

Tell us a little about what you do outside of performing for the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra.

I’ve been here at Wayland, this is my eleventh year and I’m the professor of piano here. I teach lessons, I teach the course work related to piano, piano literature, piano pedagogy. I also do a fair bit of collaborating here with our student vocalists, instrumentalists…It’s really quite a fulfilling job. It keeps me very busy. I get to do a lot of different music, which is very inspiring and keeps the brain fresh when you’re balancing so many different styles and ideas in your head, it keeps you going.

You’re in the middle of a big project, you’re performing all of Beethoven’s symphonies.Tell us about these transcriptions.

The back story is kind of funny. In high school I used to go to music stores and browse as every nerd does. And there was a music store in the basement of a bank in Omaha, Nebraska where I grew up, and I remember running across the first volume of symphonies one through five. I picked them up and thought what a cool idea.

I had no idea the back story behind those pieces at that time, but I thought what a great idea. They sat on my shelf for years. But over the years I began to get more interested in the orchestral life…so this project came out of the idea that next year is 2020 and that is of course Beethoven’s 150th birthday and there will be many celebrations going on all over the world…

Listen to the full interview at the top of the article.