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Geelvinck ‘Early Piano’ Festival


The Geelvinck ‘Early Piano’ Festival is in the privileged position of illuminating for contemporary audiences the atmosphere and sounds of the 18th and 19th centuries. We believe that if we are to understand the music of the past and recreate the sounding spirit of place, we must hear it from the early keyboard instruments which were so instrumental to social life at the time.

Our newly online Festival will take you on this immersive journey by bringing you Beethoven, 250 years on from his birth, with a series of concerts, a scientific session, podcasts and two very special projects about the composer who changed the face of music.

From December 2020 – January 2021, we will take a trip around the beautiful Dutch region of Gelderland to experience Beethoven and the romantic period. This will offer the chance to hear Beethoven’s music as his contemporaries would have heard it, on original early pianos while virtually visiting fantastic historical locations where such pianos would have been played.

We will also be taking a stroll around our virtual concert walking tour: the Bashkir’s Ship Bridge. This exciting series seeks to reveal the political backdrop to Beethoven’s life, and in particular the heroic acts of the 1st Bashkir Regiment who played such an important role for the liberation of the Netherlands, then under Napoleonic rule. This will of course be accompanied by music of the period on contemporary instruments to take you back to 1813-1814!

In late January 2021, the second of our projects, Beethoven = Black, will be released. This is a fascinating series of one-hour podcasts with concerts, talks and discussions from musical professionals from across the globe on the subject of diversity and inclusion in classical and early music. Having previously exhibited on the theme of black slavery in the former Dutch colonies of the Caribbean and its consequences for today’s society, this continues our journey of opening the conversation on cultural inclusion, particularly with the backdrop of Black Lives Matter.

Finally, our scientific session ‘Keeping the past playable: the mechanics of historic semimobile keyboard instruments’ in the REMA Early Music Summit is now available to watch online via our website. This offers a snapshot of the difficulties our sound heritage faces, particularly due to a lack of restoration apprentices, to keep our early pianos alive and playable in future.

We hope to welcome you to the Festival! For more information, please visit