The International Beethoven Project, a Chicago-based not-for-profit organization founded in 2009 from the outgrowth of a project begun in Paris in early 2007 by concert pianist George Lepauw, has in just a few short years made an indelible mark on the international music and art scene with its performance projects and festivals.
IBP first gained global attention when it took the musical world by storm with the World Premiere performance of Beethoven’s Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Hess 47 performed by the Beethoven Project Trio (George Lepauw, Sang Mee Lee, Wendy Warner) at the Murphy Auditorium in Chicago on March 1, 2009. The World Premiere performance, which was programmed along with two other recently discovered piano trios of Beethoven and the well-known “Archduke” trio, led to the first complete performance series in history of the known piano trios of Beethoven by the Beethoven Project Trio through Winter and Spring of 2010. The culmination of IBP’s initial “Rediscovery Project” was a one-week residency in New York City that included private performances at the residence of the German Consul, a packed performance at Rockefeller University, as well as a Grand New York Premiere Concert at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on May 18, 2010.
The trios that brought IBP to the fore – Hess 47, Anhang 3 and Opus 63 – were released on Cedille Records in 2010, reaching #24 on the Classical Billboard Charts the first week out. The recording was a co-production of IBP and the award-winning Chicago-based Cedille Records. Max Wilcox, the legendary 17-time Grammy winning producer best known for his recordings of Artur Rubinstein for RCA Victor, served as recording producer for this project at the acoustically perfect American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City.
While the International Beethoven Project was initially born with the single goal of giving the world premiere of Beethoven’s H47, the public’s and the press’s huge enthusiasm f