Justine Cormack

The Beethoven Violin and Piano Sonatas

10 Sonatas, 3 concerts, 3 days,  3 Central Otago locations

A Central Otago celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth


On 14, 15 and 16 Feb 2020, I’ll be performing all 10 Beethoven violin and piano sonatas within three concerts, over three days, at three different locations within my gorgeous new neighbourhood of Central Otago.

Kate Boyd, awesome American pianist and dear friend from my doctoral studies in the 90s at Stony Brook University, will be joining me for this total treat – all in order to celebrate Beethoven’s creative genius in the 250th anniversary year of his birth.

Every one of the 10 sonatas is a unique gem and the cycle is a fabulous way to fully experience and celebrate both Beethoven’s compositional evolution as well as his unquestionable creative genius.

This project is truly inspirational for me and I’m sharing my experiences, challenges and insights throught the process in my Beethoven Blog.

Later in 2020, Kate and I will perform the cycle for a second time at Butler University, Indiana on Oct 29, 30 and Nov 1.


The Cycle:

Beethoven’s 10 sonatas for violin and piano form a wonderful set to be enjoyed over the course of three performances.

The first 3 sonatas, published as a set in 1798 under Opus 12 when Beethoven was 28, are impressive examples of his early maturity.

The next 6 fall within his middle period showing the full range of his expression. Both the 7th c minor sonata and the 9th “Kreutzer” sonata display the drama of the 5th Symphony, and the sunny and humorous 5th “Spring” sonata harkens to the Pastoral Symphony.

The beautiful 10th Sonata is a clear example of Beethoven’s radiant late style.

Our 3 concerts have been structured to be enjoyed as stand-alone performances, but our fervent hope is that many will have the chance to experience the magnificence of the entire cycle.

As an incentive, for those that purchase tickets for both the Bannockburn and Wanaka concerts, you’ll be eligible to receive a complimentary ‘complete-the-cycle’ ticket for the Queenstown concert. Info below…

Programme 1: Bannockburn

Fri 14 Feb, 7.30pm – Coronation Hall

Hosted by Arts Central

Sonata no. 1 in D major, op. 12, no. 1

Sonata no. 6 in A major, op. 30, no. 1


Sonata no. 9 in A major, op. 47 (“Kreutzer”)

Programme 2: Wanaka

Sat 15 Feb,7.30pm: Lake Wanaka Centre

Hosted by Wanaka Concert Society

Sonata no. 2 in A major, op. 12, no. 2

Sonata no. 3 in E flat major, op. 12, no. 3


Sonata no. 7 in c minor, op. 30. no. 2

Sonata no. 8 in G major, op. 30, no. 3

Programme 3: Queenstown

Sun 16 Feb, 6pm: Memorial Centre

Hosted by Turn Up the Music Trust

Sonata no. 4 in a minor, op. 23

Sonata no. 5 in F major, op. 24 (“Spring”)


Sonata no. 10 in G major, op. 96

Ticket and Booking Info

Tickets for each concert are sold separately – and will be on sale from 1 Dec 2019.

For those who purchase a ticket for both the Cromwell and Wanaka Concerts, as an incentive for you to experience the full glory of the complete cycle, you are eligible for a complimentary ‘complete-the-cycle’ ticket to the Queenstown concert.

To reserve your complimentary ticket, email justine: justine@listenfeelplay.nz


Fri 14 Feb, 7.30pm – Coronation Hall

Hosted by Arts Central

Adults $30; SuperGold $25; Student/Child $5

Buy online: www.artscentral.co.nz

Buy in person: Central Otago District iSites (Cromwell, Alexandra, Roxburgh & Ranfurly)

Door sales available on the night (if not sold prior)


Sat 15 Feb,7.30pm: Lake Wanaka Centre

Hosted by Wanaka Concert Society

Adults $35, Subscribers $30, Children/students free

Buy online: Eventfinda.co.nz (Subscriber discount not available on line)

Buy in person at Gifted Design Store, 19 Helwick Street (from 10 Dec 2019)

Door sales will be available on the night from 6.30 pm (if not sold prior)


Sun 16 Feb, 6pm: Memorial Centre

Hosted by Turn Up the Music Trust

Adults $35, Students/Children $5

Buy online: Eventfinda.co.nz

Door sales available on the night from 5pm (if not sold prior)

Effort, Age and Survival  

It is over a month since my last blog post and with the 6 weeks that have passed, we are well and truly in mid-summer here in Central Otago.

I have been systematically working through the 10 sonatas, regularly inspired by the awesome landscapes outside my window, and accompanied by my trusty sidekick – Coco the cat.

It turns out one of the biggest current challenges is physical fatigue…

A reset from the inside out

Having previously performed 6 of the 10 sonatas more than 20 years ago, it has been a lovely process coming back to the familiar, as well as discovering the new. Primarily due to the work I have been doing over the last 2 years getting to the nitty-gritty of my performance philosophies, these incredibly pristine works of Beethoven are proving to be an absolute gift for me.

Where to from here?

The next three months are super exciting for me, with 3 concerts confirmed in Mid-Feb 2020 for the performance of all 10 Beethoven sonatas within three days…and all in my new gorgeous neighbourhood of Central Otago.

It’s quite possible that I am naïve to the full enormity of this project – but one thing is for sure, sinking my teeth into these works again is a true treat, and the magnitude of the project is just what I am now needing at this point in my life.

Mountains and overcoming self-consciousness

I love mountains - always have, always will. Having recently moved to live amongst the Southern Alps of New Zealand, I am lucky enough to interact daily with these magnificent mountains. I am acutely aware of the support and inspiration they give me as a creative...

Acknowledging the positive

Beware of your greatest strengths! Shakespeare is quoted as saying “your greatest strength begets your greatest weakness”.   As performers, one of our most valuable strengths is our skill in self-critiquing. We are highly trained in the ability to judge and...

Discovering whole-body awareness

Reflections from a piano classInvited to explore ListenFeelPlay philosophies in an Auckland University piano class, four talented young pianists and I experimented together, witnessing and demonstrating, on the spot, the power and relevance of whole-body...

Be true to your own creative voice

One of the lessons I have learnt over and over again through my career has been the importance of honouring your own voice, your own perspective and your own self-expression. In order to do this, you must pay close attention to your creative intuition, and have the...

Taking ownership of your confidence

I used to think of confidence as something you either have or you don’t have, but in fact confidence is something you 'do', or more to the point often ‘don’t do’…to varying degrees. Let me explain. It was somewhat of a lightbulb moment for me when I realised that...

Attitude is everything

"Attitude is everything" It’s a common saying and personally I couldn’t agree more. When it comes to successfully and confidently expressing yourself and having a great time in the process, awareness of your attitude allows for a wealth of opportunities. Do you adopt...

The mind+body connection

Mind+body connection is at the heart of creative ease and flow. As a human being, your mind has the potential to be your greatest asset or greatest downfall, and everything in between. By learning to objectively observe your thoughts, your mental habits, and your...