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Beethoven and Bridgetower

Beethoven's 9th Sonata has an intriguing backstory...

Beethoven: Sonata No. 9 for Violin and Piano, “Kreutzer”

Vijay Iyer: Bridgetower Fantasy for Violin and Piano

Beethoven’s 9th Sonata has an intriguing backstory: originally dedicated to, and premiered by, the great Afro-British violinist George Bridgetower, the work ended up being dedicated to violinist Rudolphe Kreutzer (who deemed the work unplayable). Kreutzer became a celebrated figure while Bridgetower faded into poverty and obscurity. The Beethoven sonata is paired with Vijay Iyer’s 2015 work Bridgetower Fantasy, a collection of musings about Bridgetower. Iyer imagines him as “an ambiguous figure who, in embodying difference, provoked inspiration, fantasy, desire, anger and, finally, erasure.”

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