DETROIT (WWJ) – It’s a marathon musical undertaking at Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit.

Thirty-three student pianists from across Michigan will perform all of Beethoven’s 32 sonatas from beginning to end, back-to-back over a 12-hour period on Thursday.

Detroit Symphony Orchestra spokeswoman Gabrielle Poshadlo said the concert is free, and everyone is welcome to drop by at any time and take a listen.

“I know that some of my colleagues and I have brought their computers down, and it makes really nice background music for work that we’re doing,” said Poshadlo. “A lot of people in the audience have their scores out, so this is a scholarly experience for a lot of them. A lot of people are sitting their with their eye closed and it’s a spiritual experience.”

One performer, 17-year-old Ariella Beaurod from Interlochen is performing a 30 minute piece. She told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Kathryn Larson, while she practices with sheet music — on stage, it’s all in her head.

How does she do it?

“I guess, slowly, just very slowly, and it starts to stick, and the more you hear it in your ear the more you remember it,” she said, adding that a lot of it is muscle memory.

Ariella warms up with about an hour of scales. But, despite the preparation, she said her fingers will be exhausted by the end.

Thursday’s performances will continue until 10 p.m.

The event is being held in conjunction with the DSO’s Beethoven festival which runs through the end of February.

Find more information and directions to the Max at this link.


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