HKAPA X RTHK: “Beethoven 32” opening the new testament of piano literature

RTHK recorded the pianists at the Academy Concert Hall.

The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) School of Music and Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) proudly present “Beethoven 32” (B32). This unique venture sets out to present the 32 piano sonatas written by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 –1827), one of the most venerated composers in the history of Western music. The creation of this anthology covered the composer’s three distinctive periods over a span of almost 30 years from 1795 to 1822.

“Beethoven 32” features 32 pianists associated with the School of Music of HKAPA. It is a radio, TV, and online production. Radio 4 (FM 97.6 – 98.9) will broadcast the programme at 1:15pm from 1 December 2021, a sonata a day, concluding on New Year’s Day. TV programmes will be broadcast on RTHK TV31 at 1pm on Saturdays from 1 January 2022 to 26 March 2022. All programmes will be available on RTHK’s website ( for 12 months after broadcast.

Jimmy Shiu, Head of Radio 4, RTHK, said, “The extraordinary range of expression, variety in styles, exploration of the possibility of the keyboard, and display of creativity have made Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas an integral part of the piano repertoire. Radio 4 is Hong Kong’s only fine music channel. We are proud to take part in the making of this anthology. B32 is particularly valuable as being a unique multi-platform production which showcases Hong Kong’s rich musical talent.”

Canace Lam, Head of Infotainment & Variety, Television Division, RTHK, said, “This series, which gathers 32 local piano talents and presents 32 Beethoven piano sonatas, is an important video record of Hong Kong’s classical music scene. RTHK will produce more programmes in this direction to promote classical music.”

Professor Sharon Choa, Dean of Music of HKAPA, said, “The fact that we are able to record the complete piano-sonata cycle of Beethoven is a testament to the great achievements of the Keyboard Department of the School of Music at HKAPA in the past three decades. Beethoven overcame many challenges in his lifetime to achieve the position he holds in the history of music. We hope that by listening to a complete genre of his compositions, audiences will be inspired not only by his great musical talent but also his tremendous willpower to triumph over adversities. May this be an encouragement to us all in combating our current challenging situation of the pandemic.’’

Professor Gabriel Kwok, Head of Keyboard Studies of HKAPA, added, “I am particularly proud to present 32 pianists from the Academy, from our Junior Music students to our distinguished alumni and Academy piano faculty members. Beethoven’s 32 Piano Sonatas was considered by Hans von Bülow, German conductor, virtuoso pianist and composer, as ‘The New Testament’ of the piano literature. We are delighted to be able to participate in this meaningful project.”