It’s become a summer tradition: Gustavo Romero, the work of a single composer, and the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library sponsoring sold-out concerts at The Neurosciences Institute. It started in 1999, when Romero performed the solo piano repertoire of Chopin as part of the library’s 100th anniversary celebration. In 2000, he played the Leipzig keyboard works of Bach. And last summer, he performed Part I of the Athenaeum Beethoven Festival, in a brilliant perusal of the composer’s piano sonatas.
This summer, Gustavo Romero, San Diego’s native son, is returning to complete his Beethoven cycle, with the remainder of the composer’s piano sonatas. The Athenaeum Beethoven Festival, Part II, commemorating the 175th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s death, will consist of four concerts, on four Sunday afternoons in July, at 4 p.m., at The Neurosciences Institute. All will be performed by Gustavo Romero, solo piano.
The series begins on Sunday, July 7, with Sonatas Opus 7; Opus 49- No. 1; Opus 10-No. 2; Opus 26; and Opus 81a (“Les Adieux”). On Sunday, July 14, Romero performs Opus 90; Opus 22; Opus 31-No. 1; and Opus 13 (“Pathétique”). The series continues on Sunday, July 21 with Opus 28 (“Pastoral”); Opus 54; Opus 14-No. 2; and Opus 106 (“Hammerkla-vier”). For the final concert, on Sunday, July 28, Romero concludes with Opus 31-No. 2 (“Tempest”); Opus 49-No. 2; Opus 10-No. 3; and Opus 111.
Gustavo Romero has earned a growing reputation for both the technical brilliance and interpretive depth of his playing, and for his comprehensive exploration of works of individual composers, as evidenced by his Athenaeum summer recital series. In addition, this technical and emotional brilliance is even more astonishing given the fact that Romero performs these recitals by memorya truly breathtaking feat.
The young pianist gave his first public performance in 1976, as part of the Monday noon Mini-Concert series at the Athenaeum. Gustavo Rom-ero was only eleven years old at the time. After that early concert, he performed with the San Diego Symphony at the age of 12, the New York Philharmonic at the age of 13, the Boston Pops Orchestra at 16, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at 18.
After graduating from the Juilliard School of Music, Romero was the 1989 winner of the prestigious Clara Haskil Piano Competition in Switzerland, and this opened Europe to him. Romero has become a world-famous and much-traveled pianist since his 1976 Athenaeum performance, but he loves to return to his native San Diego, where his family still lives, and to the Athenaeum, which has always meant so much to him.
Romero has played with leading orchestras, including Radio France Orchestra, Philharmonia Hungarica, and the Liege Philharmonic, with which he appeared on tour and in a concert internationally telecast from the United Nations. He has also appeared at major festivals including New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the Montpellier Festival in France, and the Montreux Festival in Switzerland.
As a recitalist, Romero is in demand throughout the world. In addition to his busy performance schedule, Gustavo Rom-ero has been teaching at the University of Illinois at Urbana; and, will take a new position as Associate Professor of Music at the University of North Texas in the fall.
Beethoven’s piano sonatas stand as one of the greatest artistic achievements in musical history, and it is a rare and special occasion to have the opportunity to hear all these works performed by a single artist: truly a tour de force. Beethoven came upon the musical scene at an auspicious time. The genius of his extraordinary gift of invention began a new period of musical composition that marked the division between the end of the Classical period and the beginning of the Romantic.
Tickets to the Beethoven Festival, Part II, are $92 for the series of four concerts ($80 for Athenaeum members). Individual concerts are $25 ($22 for Athenaeum members). The Neurosciences Institute is located at 10640 John Jay Hopkins Drive, San Diego. It has also become a tradition to follow each concert with a gala dinner, at private homes and at the Athenaeum, featuring Gustavo Romero as guest of honor. VIP tickets, including reserved seating and dinner, are $450 for the series of four, and $125 for individual evenings.
Please be advised that the last two Gustavo Romero festivals were sell-outs, so early reservations are strongly recommended. Call (858) 454-5872 for information and reservations.