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Jonathan Biss brings his mission for Beethoven to the Aspen Music Festival / The Aspen Times

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Jonathan Biss is on a mission for Beethoven. The acclaimed American pianist, 36, has spent the past six years immersed in the composer's vaunted sonatas, attempting to perform and record the complete sonata cycle. Biss is in the middle of a three-summer residency at the Aspen Music Festival, during which he will perform all 32 of Beethoven's sonatas. He will play five tonight Tuesday night Aug 8 at the Aspen Music Festival & School - Harris Concert Hall.  In addition to recitals, like his two in Aspen this summer, and his planned nine recordings (he's released seven so far), Biss has written a book about the process, "Beethoven's Shadow," and teaches an online course through the Curtis Institute on Beethoven's sonatas. His journey with Beethoven is as much about advocacy and education as performance. "His intensity and force of personality and his variety of expression is like nothing else I know," Biss said, "So I feel pulled to his music. I hear that this will sound melodramatic, but: I can't imagine my life without it."

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