An excellent pianist Saleem Abboud Ashkar and the Poznan Phiharmonic Orchestra led by Ariel Zuckermann are preparing a truly imperial feast for Friday, the 15th of January. During the next Internet Concert, held as usual at 7 p.m., we will listen to the Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 73 by Ludwig van Beethoven.

Piano Concerto No. 5 was Beethoven’s last piano concerto and the only one the composer did not perform in front of the public. It was written in the years of 1809-1811 and the premiere performance took place on the 28th of November 1811 in the Leipzig Gewandhaus, under the baton of Johann Philipp Christian Schulz. The soloist was Friedrich Schneider, as Beethoven, almost completely deaf then, didn’t risk to undertake that role, despite the custom in the case of the previous concertos. The Viennese audience first heard the work a few months later: on the 12th of February 1812, this time the soloist was Beethoven’s apprentice, pianist Carl Czerny, highly regarded by the composer. Unfortunately, the innovative masterpiece had once again exceeded the tastes of the conservative Viennese public – the work received a cool reception.

Piano Concerto No. 5 has earned the “Imperial” title still during Beethoven’s lifetime, though, like many other names of that sort, it wasn’t given by the composer himself. It was probably invented by Johann Baptista Cramer, the English publisher of the work. Some people explain the epithet derives from the concerto’s dedication for archduke Rudolf Habsburg, others say it relates to the heroic and monumental, almost military character of the piece.

The concerto is considered to be the culmination in Beethoven’s piano creation. In this work the composer reaches an ideal balance between the emotional content and the virtuoso elements. A musical feast fit for emperors…


Saleem Abboud ASHKAR piano
Ariel ZUCKERMANN conductor
Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra


  • Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 73

Adagio un poco mosso
Rondo. Allegro