Pianist Robert Taub ’77 has a deep knowledge of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, both as a musician and a music scholar. In the mid-1990s, he performed all 32 sonatas in a three-year span. Earlier this year, he authored a book called Playing the Beethoven Piano Sonatas, which Library Journal called “a close, careful reading of every aspect of performance from fingering to tempo.”
Taub majored in music at Princeton, earned a doctorate from Julliard, and has returned to teach courses on campus in recent years. His latest project is a comprehensive collection of the 32 Beethoven piano sonatas — the first in more than 100 years from the venerable publisher G. Schirmer — that will encapsulate the works in two volumes of annotated sheet music and 10 CDs that feature Taub playing the sonatas. He told James Barron ’77, the secretary for his class, that the new collection sums up many years of playing and studying the sonatas. By citing Beethoven’s own fingerings and markings, Taub said he is attempting “to portray an artistic vision that transcends the little black dots on the page.”
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