Podcast: Beethoven’s green card: Sebastian Forster to play Morristown benefit, Sept. 21

Virtuoso pianist Sebastian Forster will perform Beethoven sonatas at the Kellogg Club, Sept. 21, 2013. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Virtuoso pianist Sebastian Forster will perform Beethoven sonatas at the Kellogg Club, Sept. 21, 2013. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
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Sebastián Forster  of Buenos Aires got his green card the old-fashioned way:

He recorded all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas.

It’s called an “extraordinary ability” green card, and we can’t argue with that designation. You won’t, either, if you attend his benefit performance for Morristown’s Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, at the Kellogg Club on Sept. 21, 2013.

Things would have been much different if Sebastián, 38, had obeyed his parents and become a soccer star. But he listened to his inner virtuoso.

“I said no. Buy me a piano.”

It worked out.

Virtuoso pianist Sebastian Forster will perform Beethoven sonatas at the Kellogg Club, Sept. 21, 2013. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Virtuoso pianist Sebastian Forster will perform Beethoven sonatas at the Kellogg Club, Sept. 21, 2013. His recordings of all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas are available through his website. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Sebastián has performed with orchestras around the world, winning accolades for his passionate playing. Beethoven’s fiery personality and ultimately optimistic outlook proved irresistible to him.

“He can swap from the most sublime moments, and all of a sudden, he feels in a way ashamed of that, and he covers it with a tempest. And he’s like, okay, enough of heaven. And he creates hell,” said Sebastián, who bears a passing resemblance to Ludwig–albeit, a sunnier version with better hearing.

Sebastián spoke with us in his fiancée’s airy Morristown living room, where Leo, their 14-year-old black lab, kept tabs on the interview.

Sebastian Forster at the Kellogg Club

“An Evening in the Salon”

To benefit the Macculloch Hall Historical Museum

Sept. 21, 2013, at 6 pm

Wine, hors d’oeuvres, silent auction

Tickets: $125, $200

 

In our podcast, Sebastián shares his thoughts on:

  • Morristown’s charms
  • Digital pianos
  • Beethoven’s enduring popularity
  • The Benjamin Button arc of the icon’s music
  • Beethoven at the movies
  • Was deafness a disability?
  • The “tortured artist” syndrome
  • Astor Piazzolla, Argentina’s revered tango composer and bandoneon player. (Sebastián will lead a classical trio in a tribute to the late star on Oct. 11 in New York, where he teaches at the Piano School of NYC.

If some magic could enable him to address Beethoven, there would be no grilling.

“I would just thank him,” Sebastián said.

As for that soccer stuff, well, the maestro confessed he had no aptitude for the game. Piano concertos were in his DNA..

“We don’t choose things,” Sebastián reflected. “Sometimes, they choose us. We don’t have any choice.”

sebastian forster to play at kellogg club, in benefit for macculloch hall

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