Focus Residency

Gilles Vonsattel, Behind the Music

This December, renowned pianist Gilles Vonsattel presents a brand-new residency, titled The End/So Beautiful and Free. The program explores the sense of endings in music, and is built upon Ludwig van Beethoven‘s final piano sonata. As Gilles says, “The title refers to the extraordinary way in which Beethoven chooses to end his final sonata - a kind of celestial evaporation. I’ve always loved the famous Doors song The End, and there is something I found oddly similar in spirit between these two pieces of music.”

Focusing on the legacy of J.S. Bach and the composer’s final work, The Art of Fugue, Gilles will guide audiences through intricate polyphony and groundbreaking musical inventions. The residency also delves into other musical conclusions inspired by Bach, including Shostakovich’s titanic Fugue in D minor – the last of his 24 Preludes and Fugues – and Beethoven’s final piano sonata, the Opus 111.

Music@Menlo’s Focus Residencies offer a mini-festival experience over two days, with an immersive “Behind the Music” learning event on the first evening, and a concert program on the second, to perform the works explored in their entirety.

View the 2022–23 Focus Residencies brochure online.