He remains one of the most famous and influential composers of all time — the mind behind musical masterpieces he couldn't hear most of his life.
Ludwig van Beethoven, the German composer and pianist who was a powerful figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, will be celebrated Saturday in a two-part all-Beethoven chamber program at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.
Cellist David Finckel will join his wife, pianist Wu Han, and musical colleague and violinist Philip Setzer for a two-concert series performing Beethoven's six complete piano trios. The concerts will follow Beethoven's life and career chronologically, enabling listeners to explore his emotional and musical evolution.
"This is a journey exploring Beethoven's life where one may immerse and give up yourself to some of the greatest musical pieces. It's a privilege to play them," Finckel said.
"To be a musician or music lover, you cannot avoid Beethoven," Han said. "The Beethoven trios we're playing are rigorous, incredible music that has changed music history."
Han and Finckel, who are considered among the world's most influential classical musicians, are artistic directors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York.
Finckel, a professor of cello at New York's Juilliard School, and Han are past recipients of Musical America's Musicians of the Year award, one of the highest honors in the music industry.
Setzer has received nine Grammy Awards and been a regular member of the Isaac Stern Chamber Music Workshops at New York's Carnegie Hall and the Jerusalem Music Center.
IF YOU GO
What: Concerts of Beethoven piano trios
When: 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Samueli Theater, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa
Cost: Tickets start at $29
Information: (714) 556-2787 or scfta.org