Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pianist Stewart Goodyear to play the Beethoven sonatas — complete — in a single day

From page A9 | September 26, 2013 | Leave Comment

A good night’s sleep, a hot shower and a morning walk are all Stewart Goodyear needs before he takes the plunge. From 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5, Goodyear will complete a breathtaking feat: a journey through all of Beethoven’s 32 sonatas — in a single day.

Born in Toronto, Canada, the 35-year-old Goodyear began his musical training at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and later went on to receive his bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with legendary pianist Leon Fleisher. He received his master’s from the Juilliard School of Music where he studied with Oxana Yablonskaya.

Since then, Goodyear has performed with the major orchestras of the world, including the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the Toronto Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra, among others.

Known for his innovative style, he is one of the few classical soloists to improvise his cadenzas while performing classical-period concertos. His career spans various genres, as he is a composer and a frequent chamber musician as well as a recitalist and concert soloist.

Goodyear’s all-Beethoven program at Mondavi comes in three parts. The first concert is from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. and will cover Op. 49 and Op. 2 to Op. 22, including the exquisite “Pathetique” sonata.

After a lunch break, his second program from 3 to 6:30 p.m. will cover Op. 26 to Op. 57, including the much-loved “Moonlight,” “Pastoral” and “Appasionata” sonatas. Finally, after a dinner break, Goodyear will wrap up the program with a final concert from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. including the fiery “Hammerklavier.”

Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas were written over a period of more than 25 years, and Goodyear’s relationship with the sonatas also has spanned many years. Recalling his first connection with the composer at the age of 3, he said, “I went to a record store and saw a box set of all the Beethoven piano sonatas. I didn’t know a composer could write so many! I came home and listened to all the sonatas in one day, all 13 LPs. That’s how I saw the sonatas, as a large set, and knew that’s how I should perform them.”

When Goodyear became a young piano student, he eventually began to play the Beethoven sonatas, in addition to listening to them on record. Asked what it feels like to return to sonatas that he had played when he was much younger, Goodyear said, “Imagine listening to a song you grew up with, and then hearing it with new ears. That’s how it feels playing sonatas I learned at age 10 that I’m revisiting at age 35.”

Given that Beethoven is one of the most performed composers in the piano repertoire, Goodyear keeps it fresh “by making it personal. You always have to bring something that is within you. Your own empathy, something that goes right down to the pit of your stomach. You learn notes so that you’re not reiterating the sonata, so that it’s in your blood.”

Goodyear’s recording of the complete Beethoven sonatas was released worldwide in September 2012 under the Marquis Classics label. In recording the sonatas, Goodyear found not only inspiration but growth, “just like when people go back to their childhood for a sense of rebirth, I went back to these sonatas.”

Although his decision to perform the complete Beethoven in one day is highly unusual, Goodyear insists it’s not a stunt, but rather a serious effort to let audiences experience the breadth of the composer’s vision, and the relationship between the early, middle and late sonatas.

“This is not about an endurance test,” Goodyear said. “This is about communicating to the audience my personal journey with these sonatas and introducing them to different sides of Beethoven that you wouldn’t get if it was just a two-hour recital,” touching down on a few works.

Goodyear is so eager to introduce to the audience his complete view of the composer, because “Beethoven communicates every feeling of the human condition, every experience. The Opus 49 is the introduction, and after you spend a day with Beethoven you have such a close relationship to the composer. You leave absolutely well fed, spiritually.”

Of preparing for the daylong program, Goodyear said, “Someone told me that the best preparation is to know the piece inside out so that you are living, breathing, eating and sleeping it. When that day comes and you are in front of the audience, it’s pouring out of you. It just becomes very natural, not studied, with a freeing interpretation. You’re there, you’re communicating, you’re on.”

Audiences can buy tickets to one (or two) of Saturday’s recitals, or purchase an all-day pass covering all three programs. Tickets to individual concerts are $25 general, $12.50 for UC Davis students or children. All-day passes are $75 general, $37.50 for students and children, available at or 530-754-2787.




Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Will city move forward on public power review?

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    4-H members get ready for Spring Show

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Obama to Russia: More sanctions are ‘teed up’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    2 pursuits, 2 arrests keep Woodland officers busy

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Conference puts focus on Arab studies

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Youth sports in focus on radio program

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Rummage sale will benefit preschool

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Concert benefits South Korea exchange

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Davis honors ‘green’ citizens

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Water rate assistance bill advances

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Program explores STEM careers for girls

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Embroiderers plan a hands-on project

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Central Park Gardens to host Volunteer Orientation Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Hotel/conference center info meeting set

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    MOMS Club plans open house

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Cycle de Mayo benefits Center for Families

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

    Author to read ‘The Cat Who Chose to Dream’

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A12



    Things are turning sour

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    The high cost of employment

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    High-five to Union Bank

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Broken sprinklers waste water

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Three more administrators?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Neustadt has experience for the job

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Here’s a plan to save big on employee costs

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

    Davis is fair, thoughtful

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Ortiz is the right choice for Yolo

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6



    DHS tracksters sweep another DVC meet

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Another DVC blowout for DHS girls soccer

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Young reinvents his game to help Aggies improve on the diamond

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    DHS boys shuffle the deck to beat Cards

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    DHS/Franklin II is a close loss for Devil softballers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Baseball roundup: Giants slam Rockies in the 11th

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    UCD roundup: Aggies lose a softball game at Pacific

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

    Jahn jumps to Sacramento Republic FC

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B8





    Bach Soloists wrap up season on April 28

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A11

    Congressional art competition open to high school students

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Emerson, Da Vinci to present ‘Once Upon a Mattress’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Winters Plein Air Festival begins Friday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11







    Comics: Thursday, April 24, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6