‘Beethoven Project’ to feature 10 violin sonatas through fall, spring

Justin Bruns of the Atlanta Symphony will perform a series of five concerts comprising 10 Beethoven sonatas this fall and spring at Western Carolina University.

The assistant concertmaster from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will perform all 10 Beethoven violin sonatas during a series of five concerts this fall and spring at Western Carolina University.

“The Beethoven Project” will feature concerts of two Beethoven sonatas plus a significant work for violin and piano from the 20th century. Bradley Martin, WCU associate professor of piano, will perform along with Justin Bruns on violin.

The recitals all are free and open to the public and will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the recital hall of WCU’s Coulter Building. The first performance is Monday, Oct. 8, and will feature Beethoven Sonata Nos. 1 and 6 and Stravinsky’s Duo Concertante for Violin and Piano.

Prior to his position with the Atlanta Symphony, Bruns was assistant concertmaster of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and served as concertmaster at the Boulder Bach Festival. He has spent summers at the Aspen Music Festival, Beijing Music Festival, Music Academy of the West and BRAVO Colorado, and he maintains his affiliation as assistant concertmaster with the Cabrillo Contemporary Music Festival in Santa Cruz, Calif. Bruns, who began his violin studies at the age of 3, earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and his master’s degree in music from Rice University.

“Justin is a wonderful violinist and musician,” said Martin, who was a student with Bruns at the University of Michigan. “The Beethoven Project” is an exciting undertaking because the repertoire is among the first sonatas for violin and piano, Martin said. “They are staples of not only the violin repertoire but the entire chamber music repertoire,” he said. To Martin’s knowledge, the Beethoven sonatas have not been performed in a series in Cullowhee or Asheville. “This is not an everyday occurrence,” he said. “It is a unique opportunity for our students and community.”

Dates for the other “Beethoven Project” concerts are Nov. 5, Jan. 28, Feb. 25 and March 18. Asheville radio station WCQS-FM will broadcast a recording of the concerts at later dates. The WCU School of Music, WCQS and the Asheville Symphony Orchestra are event sponsors.

For more information, contact Martin at martinb@wcu.edu or 828-227-3726.