The SPOGreatMusic Podcast Series: S01E05

Release Date: November 13, 2020

Beethoven’s life, his personality, his daily schedule, his favourite foods, and influences on his life and music will be discussed. We will examine what inspired and motivated Beethoven, leading him to create some of the most famous and popular classical music of all time. Included will be a discussion of his chamber music, including interviews with University of Toronto Music Professor Dr. Alexander Rapoport, SPO music director Ronald Royer, SPO Artist-in-Residence Dr. Lisa Tahara and pianist Alexander Panizza.

Part 2 examines Beethoven’s mid to late works. Make sure to also listen to Part 1, focusing on Beethoven’s early life and career. Excerpts from the piano sonatas are recorded by Alexander Panizza.


Dr. Alexander Rapoport, Beethoven Expert

Alexander Rapoport holds diplomas in composition and traditional composition from the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst (currently known as the Musik-Univbersität) in Vienna and Master of Music and Doctor of Music degrees from the University of Toronto. His teachers and mentors include Augustin Kubizek, Karl Heinz Füssl, Oskar Morawetz, Lothar Klein and Derek Holman. He has received commissions for works in such diverse media as orchestral, choral and chamber music, film scores, incidental music for live theatre and musical comedy.

His principal compositions include works for Jamie Sommerville (Waldberauscht, 2016) Pamelia Stickney (Sonata for Theremin and Piano no. 1, 2014 and no. 2, 2018) The Talisker Players (And Hast Thou Glossed the Jabberwock? 2011, and The Pilgrimage of Henry Pyne, 2009), The Canadian Children’s Opera Company (Dragon in the Rocks, 2008), The Windermere Quartet (String Quartet no. 1, 2006 and no. 2, 2017), Valerie Tryon (Variations on a Theme of Chopin for Piano and Orchestra, 1999) and Judy Loman (Hymn to the Redeemer of the Nations, 1986).

Rapoport was Composer-in-Residence of the Talisker Players from 2001 to 2017. He is an associate professor, teaching stream, in composition and music theory at the University of Toronto.

Learn more about Alexander on his website


Ronald Royer, Music Director, Conductor, Musician, Composer, Educator

To learn more about Ronald Royer, visit his all-new website


Dr. Lisa Tahara, Pianist

To learn more about Dr. Tahara, visit her website


Alexander Panizza, Pianist

To learn more about Alexander Panizza, visit his website


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