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Tom Beghin awarded the Nicholas Bessaraboff Prize for his 'Beethoven’s French Piano: A Tale of Ambition and Frustration'

May 23, 2024

"The American Musical Instrument Society awards the Nicholas Bessaraboff Prize annually for the most distinguished book-length publication in English. The 2024 prize goes to Beethoven’s French Piano: A Tale of Ambition and Frustration, by Tom Beghin, in collaboration with Robin Blanton, Chris Maene, Michael Pecak, and Tilman Skowroneck (University of Chicago Press, 2022). A testament to the productive environment of the Orpheus Institute for Advanced Studies & Research in Music, this book is engagingly written and superbly illustrated. At the heart of this book is the story Beghin and his collaborators tell of Beethoven’s complicated relationship to his 1803 Erard Frères piano and their project to replicate the instrument. Bringing together meticulous attention to organological detail and musical insights gleaned from the instrument, Beethoven’s French Piano opens our ears anew to the early nineteenth-century piano."

- The American Musical Instrument Society

Documentation of the project can be found here.

Watch the trailer here:

Watch the full documentary here: