Skip Links
Close Search


Beethoven: Sonata for Piano and Cello

Program Notes

A note from Utzon Music 2022 curator

Casey Green

How great it is to be welcoming audiences back into this special space for Utzon Music, a series with an almost 15 year long legacy defined by excellence, artistry and intimacy. Utzon Music has long over-delivered; it quietly brings the world’s finest classical and chamber music artists into this special corner of the Sydney Opera House to perform to a keen, engaged audience; like you. 

I can think of no better way to celebrate the return of this series than with the incredible Timo-Veikko Valve and Aura Go performing Beethoven’s complete sonata cycle for Cello and Piano. Something about returning to the essentials like Bach, Mozart and - of course - Beethoven has felt very right to me after such a tumultuous time away from live music. We are in the safest hands here with Tipi and Aura who know this repertoire so deeply, nevermind their skill and chemistry as some of our country’s finest musicians. 

I know that your souls will be full following these recitals in the Utzon Room. We’ll be in touch with you as more events in this series are announced - as the world reopens, so will Utzon Music. For now, I hope you enjoy these spectacular events.

Artist notes on the program

Timo-Veikko ‘Tipi’ Valve and Aura Go

Experiencing Beethoven’s cycle of five sonatas for piano and cello in one day places performers and audiences in an especially intimate proximity to Beethoven.

Emerging from the three major creative periods of his lifetime, these works represent a microcosm of Beethoven’s extraordinary trajectory. The two sonatas Op. 5 (1796) effectively create the medium – inspired by the playing of famous French cellist brothers Duport, these substantial works chart new territory for cello and piano. The Sonata in A major Op. 69 (1808) epitomises the classical duo sonata, the cello and piano now fully evolved as equal partners in a delightfully unfolding interplay of radiant beauty. And with the two sonatas Op. 102 (1815) we enter the transcendent world of late Beethoven, a world characterised by a highly concentrated and potent musical language in which vast scope and scale are attained by way of the simplest means. It is significant that in forging these visionary paths, Beethoven looks back to JS Bach: an epic fugue forms the final movement of the Sonata in D major Op. 102 No. 2, bringing the cycle to an ecstatic and decisive conclusion.

Contemplating these works as a cycle, Beethoven’s disposition seems distinctly sunny: the fierce mood of the opening movement the Sonata in C major Op. 102 No. 1 is overcome by the exuberant joy of its last movement; even the Sonata in G minor Op. 5 No. 2 (the only sonata cast in a minor key), turns from tumultuous drama to gleeful humour. Could Beethoven’s creative collaborations with the various cellists that inspired and helped shape these works have contributed to their predominantly positive spirit? Rendering the cycle at this moment in time, through a similarly close collaborative dialogue between cellist and pianist, we cannot help but imagine and reflect on the creative collaborations that may have manifested in tangible and intangible ways in these works. These performances offer us all – performers and audiences alike – an opportunity to enter into a special kind of imaginative dialogue with Beethoven, and to inhabit the remarkable worlds of these creations”

About the artists

Timo-Veikko Valve

Timo-Veikko 'Tipi' Valve

Tipi studied at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and at the Edsberg Music Institute in Stockholm. He has appeared as a soloist with all the major orchestras in Finland, and as a chamber musician throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and the US. He has been the Principal Cello of the Australian Chamber Orchestra for fourteen years. 

Tipi describes the cello as a flexible and adaptive instrument, both in its role in an ensemble or as a soloist across all forms of music.


Aura Go

Aura Go

Aura Go is an Australian pianist whose curiosity and versatility have taken her across the globe. She has been a soloist in concertos ranging from Bach to Gubaidulina, has directed concertos and large-scale collaborative works from the keyboard, is a passionate advocate for new and underrepresented music, and brings her imagination and adventurous spirit to older music with a special affinity with the music of Mozart and Beethoven. 

In 2018-19 Aura was a Musica Viva FutureMakers Artist. She is a lecturer and Coordinator of Piano at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music at Monash University.


More from Utzon Music 2022


Utzon Music 2022

Australia's finest classical musicians and creatives bring their music to the Utzon Room for a series of dynamic and inspiring performances.


The Italian Baroque

ACO Collective and Erin Helyard will delight in this program of works by Italian Baroque masters and the world premiere of Paul Stanhope’s Giving Ground, a modern reflection of Geminiani’s popular and virtuosic La Follia.


Seraphim Trio with Christopher Moore

Australia's pre-eminent piano trio are joined by Principal Viola of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Christopher Moore to perform a program grounded by Brett Dean's new work for piano quartet.