Credit: W. Terrence Spiller | Courtesy

Cal Poly retired music professor and pianist W. Terrence Spiller will perform all-Beethoven sonatas in a virtual recital available from May 21 to May 28.

This is Spiller’s fifth recital to complete Beethoven’s 32 sonatas. Spiller said he predicts completing the sonatas in eight performances.

“The 32 sonatas represent a complete world of musical expression and emotion,” Spiller said. “They also represent a complete set of challenges. In working on them and playing them I am really trying to push myself to do the best I possibly can.”

The recital will be recorded at the Performing Arts Center on the Miossi Hall main stage. Spiller will be performing all Beethoven, including Sonata in E Major, Op. 14, No. 1; Sonata in E Minor, Op. 90; and Sonata in D Major, Op. 28, “The Pastorale.”

According to a Cal Poly press release, the recital will end with a piece that is considered a “poetic masterpiece,” the Sonata in A-flat major, Op. 110.

Beethoven’s 32 sonatas are difficult pieces to play, and pianists try to perfect their playing for years, Spiller said.

“Beethoven is as hard as it gets,” Spiller said “That’s one of the reasons you play it. It really challenges you; it makes you a better musician, a better pianist.”

Spiller said he is grateful to still have the opportunity to perform at Cal Poly even after he retired.

Spiller retired from full-time teaching in March but still teaches piano lessons at Cal Poly.

The on-demand performance will be available starting 7:30 p.m. on May 21. Tickets can be purchased at the Performing Arts Center website for $5.

The event is sponsored by the Cal Poly Music Department and the College of Liberal Arts. The proceeds from the performance will go toward Music Department scholarships.

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