Beethoven 2020. 250th Birthday Celebrations.

In 2020, the Tinalley String Quartet will join millions of music lovers worldwide in celebrating the 250th Birthday of the great Romantic composer, Ludwig van Beethoven.  

Beethoven would write sixteen string quartets in his lifetime.   These glorious quartets give voice to the innermost landscape of the human heart and spirit and continue to astound both listener and performer over two hundred years after their conception with their inspiration and audacity. They stand, like Michelangelo’s statues or the plays of Shakespeare, at the pinnacle of Western art.

Tinalley will present three unique projects as part of its ‘Beethoven 2020’ celebrations. 

The Tinalley String Quartet will present eight Beethoven String Quartets over the course of one weekend in the magnificent Epsom House in Tasmania.  Presented in association with Renaissance Tours, the weekend festival will feature introductory remarks by former ABC Classic FM presenter, Christopher Lawrence as well as a feast of fine food and wine.  The Tinalley String Quartet will be joined by associate artists, Stefan Cassomenos and mezzo-soprano Liane Keegan.

When: Friday 7th – Monday 10th February, 2020
Where: Epsom House, Pontville, Tasmania (approx. 30 minutes drive from Hobart)

Further details: Visit the Renaissance Tours Website 

It is widely acknowledged that the young Felix Mendelssohn was greatly influenced by the string quartets of Beethoven.  This project, entitled ‘To Sleep, Perchance to Dream’ pairs two of the string quartet’s greatest proponents: Beethoven & Mendelssohn and sees Tinalley return to the Melbourne Recital Centre for one day only in 2020.

Beethoven’s Op.18, No.4, is a musical dramatisation akin to a Shakespearean tragedy. The characters leap from the page – the tender lovers, the comical satirist, the angst-ridden protagonist – tied together by dramatic musical punctuation.

Felix Mendelssohn’s Op.80 Quartet, completed within months of his death, was written in response to his sister Fanny’s death.  Tremulous in character, the work is charged with a searing pain and a tremendous sense of loss and foreboding.

When: Saturday March 14, 1pm and 3pm (2 performances)
Where: The Primrose Potter Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre, Southbank

Further details: Visit the Melbourne Recital Centre Website 

Beethoven has been immortalised by popular culture.  Aside from his music, which has been featured in many of cinema’s cult classics; he has been eternalised by rock bands, Walt Disney, NASA and who could forget, the drooling Saint Bernard!   Of course, there is the music; but the tragedy of his deafness, chaotic love life, provocative political sentiments and tempestuous nature has proved as fascinating and captivating as his musical legacy.  Yet, if we strip away the cinematic narrative and consider his letters, writings and music, we glimpse a man oft portrayed with furrowed brow and tempestuous outpourings, yearning to be understood by his fellow man, vulnerable through heartbreak, and at his core, a man of faith.

‘Beethoven’s Letters’, created by Anna Melville, interweaves the musical language of Beethoven’s quartets with the spoken words of his letters and memoirs.  Acclaimed actor and director, John Bell portrays the man behind the genius in this unique, musical exposé that features movements from Beethoven’s Opus 18, 74, 131, 132 & 135, including the Heiligenstadt Testament.


Where: UKARIA, Mt Barker, South Australia
When: April 5th, 2020 at 2.30pm – SOLD OUT
6pm – On Sale Now

Further details: Visit the UKARIA Website


Where: Arts in the Vallery, Kangaroo Valley (Venue TBA)
When: Saturday June 6th

Further details: Visit the Kangaroo Valley Arts in the Valley Website

“Bell’s captivating readings brought Beethoven to life, capturing the flavour and spirit of each letter and offering a powerful insight into his complex character.  Tinalley’s crisp articulation, propulsive drive and rhythmic verve created energetic, exciting accounts of the Op 18, Op 131 and Op 135 selections …  Its superb realisations of the slow movements of Op 74 and 132 were even more impressive, achieving an ideal balance of soulful poignancy, searching profundity and calm acceptance” – The Australian