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Pianist Magazine picks this year's unmissable Beethoven events

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2020 marks 250 years since the birth of Beethoven. There are sonatas, concertos, marathons and more: We offer a taste of things to come in 2020.

What better place to start than with ‘A' for Sir András Schiff. He has several Beethoven-themed performances scheduled throughout 2020, starting out with an all-sonata recital programme (including the ‘Moonlight') at Chicago's Orchestra Hall on 29 March. If you've already got plans that night, don't worry, he appears at the same venue two days later on 31 March – with a different assortment of sonatas (the ‘Les Adieux' included).

There's plenty more to see at the Barbican. Always quirky in his choice of programming, Pianist 112 cover star Igor Levit plays Beethoven in counterpoint with Brahms and Bartók, on 19 February. Bookending Levit, Evgeny Kissin performs the ‘Waldstein', ‘Tempest' and ‘Pathétique' Sonatas (6 Feb).

The Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra and its music director Marios Papadopoulos start UK festival celebrations at the end of January with the composer's less-performed Triple Concerto, performed by violinist Maxim Vengerov, cellist Mischa Maisky and teacher of Daniil Trifonov, pianist Sergei Babayan. Oxford Festival Patron Alfred Brendel, who retired from the concert platform some years back, hosts a masterclass and takes part in a discussion.

A spectacular music event wouldn't be as spectacular without the appearance of one such Martha Argerich. Phew, she's here, teaming up with her life-long friend Stephen Kovacevich for a mouth-watering piano duo programme including Beethoven's immense Grosse Fuge.

Yuja Wang – by now a Verbier stalwart – joins cellist Gautier Capuçon and violinist Leonidas Kavakos for a performance of Beethoven's Triple Concerto with the Verbier Orchestra (17 July). Other pianists scheduled to make Beethoven-themed appearances at Verbier include Mikhail Pletnev with a performance of Piano Concerto No 3 (21 July) and Denis Matsuev who takes on the final Op 111 Sonata (26 July).

Over in Alsace, Krystian Zimerman plans to go one step further: He will play all five concertos in a row at the Palace of Music and Congress in Strasbourg on 31 May. He will repeat the feat at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw on 11 October, with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Gustavo Gimeno.

For more down-to-earth Beethoven, Jonathan Biss immerses himself in all things Beethoven between the end of January to the end of June, with talks and recitals in his Beethoven 250 Artistic Series. 

Other pianists making an homage to Beethoven throughout the spring and summer include Emanuel Ax, who appears at Carnegie Hall with violinist Leonidas Kavakos and cellist Yo-Yo Ma (that Triple again) on 4, 6 and 8 March.

Pierre-Laurent Aimard – deciding to mix Beethoven with Ives – appearing in recital at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, on 10 March.

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