Roger Woodward, piano
Robert Greenberg, host and lecturer

This program is sponsored in part by the Mark D. Kaplanoff Lecture Fund of San Francisco Performances’ Endowment.

The Late Beethoven Sonatas

2 Saturdays at 10am
April 2 and 16, 2016

Herbst Theatre

These two recital/lectures can be purchased as their own series, singularly with other concerts, or together with either the ASQ Berkeley or the ASQ San Francisco Series.


Sonata No. 29 in B-flat Major, Op. 106 “Hammerklavier”
Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109

Sonata No. 31 in A-flat Major, Op. 110
Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111

About This Performance

In addition to the Saturday Morning Series, brilliant Australian pianist Roger Woodward will pair up with Robert Greenberg for two programs focusing on Beethoven’s piano sonatas. Woodward’s keen intellect and fearless approach to performance—which led composer Iannis Xenakis to call him “part man, part dragon”—are the perfect complement to Robert Greenberg’s insightful wit and encyclopedic grasp of music and history.

Artist Biographies

Yehudi Menuhin discovered Roger Woodward at the UNESCO Jeunesses Musicales, Paris and within a year, the artist made his debut at London’s Royal Festival Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and began recording for EMI, Decca, RCA, DG, CPO and the Universal recording companies. He rose to international prominence in a series of collaborations with Olivier Messiaen, Pierre Boulez, Jean Barraqué, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Iannis Xenakis, and worked closely with Toru Takemitsu, Arvo Pärt, John Cage, Morton Feldman, Robert Greenberg, Harrison Birtwistle, Luciano Berio, Sylvano Bussotti, Horatiu Radulescu, Rolf Gehlhaar, James Dillon, Qu Xiaosong and Leo Brouwer.

He appears regularly at the major European festivals where his performances at La Scala, the Hollywood Bowl, Tiananmen Square, the Odeon of the Herodes Atticus, Lisbon’s Gulbenkian Gardens, the Royal Albert Hall, London (for BBC Promenade Concerts), Le festival d’automne à Paris, La biennale di Venezia, Wien Modern, Edinburgh Festival, Warszawska Jesień, Festival de la Roque d’ Anthéron and New York Piano Festival, have been acclaimed as belonging to the highest echelons of pianists. At the invitation of the Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter, he performed at the celebrated Grange de Meslay, Touraine.

Woodward performed at the invitation of such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Sir Charles Mackerras, Charles Dutoit, Pierre Boulez, Edo de Waart, Kurt Masur, Herbert Bloomstedt, Georg Tintner, Tan Li Hua and with the New York, Los Angeles, Beijing and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras, the Cleveland Orchestra, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, L’orchestre de Paris and six London orchestras, London Mozart Players and Sinfonietta. He directed the Budapest and Prague Chamber Orchestras, and performed with the Arditti, Alexander, Edinburgh, JACK (New York), Tokyo and Australian String Quartets and Frank Zappa. He toured with the Vienna Trio, Ivry Gitlis, Wanda Wilkomirska, Philippe Hirschhorn, James Creitz, Ilya Grubert and Cecil Taylor.

Woodward directed festivals in France, Austria the UK and Australia. He is currently Professor of Keyboard Performance at the California State University in San Francisco and is published by HarperCollins, Pendragon and Greenway Press (New York). Recordings over the past ten years for Celestial Harmonies, Universal and ABC Classics earned him widespread critical acclaim with prestigious awards, including the Goethe prize and Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, by the German critics; Ritmo prize by the Spanish critics and Diapason d’or by the French critics. Performances and recordings of J.S. Bach’s Das Wohltemperierte Clavier and Partitas, of the complete Beethoven piano sonatas and concertos, complete works of Chopin, Brahms concertos, complete works of Debussy and Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues received exceptional reviews.

The artist completed his early studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with Alexander Sverjensky (a pupil of Alexander Glazunov and Sergei Rachmaninov), then with Zbigniew Drzewiecki at the Chopin National Academy of Music, Warsaw. He was awarded France’s Chevalier des arts et des lettres, the Polish Order of Merit (Commander Class), the Polish Order of Solidarity, the Polish Gloria Artis (gold class), the Order of the British Empire and is a Companion of the Order of Australia.

Robert Greenberg was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1954, and has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1978. Greenberg received a BA in music, magna cum laude, from Princeton University in 1976. His principal teachers at Princeton were Edward Cone, Daniel Werts, and Carlton Gamer in composition, Claudio Spies and Paul Lansky in analysis, and Jerry Kuderna in piano. In 1984, Greenberg received a Ph.D. in music composition, With Distinction, from the University of California, Berkeley, where his principal teachers were Andrew Imbrie and Olly Wilson in composition and Richard Felciano in analysis.

Greenberg has composed over fifty works for a wide variety of instrumental and vocal ensembles. Recent performances of his works have taken place in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, England, Ireland, Greece, Italy and The Netherlands, where his Child's Play for String Quartet was performed at the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam.

Greenberg has received numerous honors, including three Nicola de Lorenzo Composition Prizes and three Meet-The-Composer Grants. Recent commissions have been received from the Koussevitzky Foundation in the Library of Congress, the Alexander String Quartet, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the Strata Ensemble, San Francisco Performances, Trio 180, and the XTET ensemble. Greenberg is a board member and an artistic director of COMPOSERS, INC., a composers' collective/production organization based in San Francisco. His music is published by Fallen Leaf Press and CPP/Belwin, and is recorded on the Innova label.

Greenberg has performed, taught and lectured extensively across North America and Europe. He is currently music historian-in-residence with San Francisco Performances, where he has lectured and performed since 1994. He has served on the faculties of the University of California at Berkeley, California State University East Bay, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he chaired the Department of Music History and Literature from 1989-2001 and served as the Director of the Adult Extension Division from 1991–1996. Greenberg has lectured for some of the most prestigious musical and arts organizations in the United States, including the San Francisco Symphony (where for ten years he was host and lecturer for the Symphony's nationally acclaimed “Discovery Series”), The Chautauqua Institute (where he was the Everett Scholar-in-Residence during the 2006 season), the Ravinia Festival, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Van Cliburn Foundation, the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Villa Montalvo, Music @ Menlo, and the University of British Columbia (where he was the Dal Grauer Lecturer in September of 2006). In addition, Greenberg is a sought after lecturer for businesses and business schools. For ten years he was on the faculty of the Advanced Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. In addition he has spoken for such diverse organizations as S.C. Johnson, Canadian Pacific, Deutsche Bank, the University of California/Haas School of Business Executive Seminar, the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, Harvard Business School Publishing, Kaiser-Permanente, the Strategos Institute, Quintiles Transnational, the Young Presidents’ Organization, the World Presidents’ Organization, and the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco. Greenberg has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, INC. Magazine, the Times of London, The Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Jose Mercury News, The University of California Alumni Magazine, Princeton Alumni Weekly, and Diablo Magazine. For fifteen years Greenberg was the resident composer and music historian to National Public Radio’s Weekend All Things Considered and Weekend Edition, Sunday with Liane Hansen.

In February 2003, The Bangor Daily News (Maine) referred to Greenberg as the “Elvis of music history and appreciation,” an appraisal that has given more pleasure than any other.

In May 1993, Greenberg recorded a forty-eight lecture course entitled How to Listen to and Understand Great Music for The Great Courses (formerly The Teaching Company) of Chantilly, Virginia. (This course was named in the January, 1996 edition of Inc. Magazine as one of “The Nine Leadership Classics You've Never Read.”) Originally associated with the Smithsonian Institute, The Great Courses is the preeminent producer of college level courses-on-media in the United States. Twenty-five further courses, including Concert Masterworks, Bach and the High Baroque, The Symphonies of Beethoven, How to Listen to and Understand Opera,Great Masters, The Operas of Mozart, The Life and Operas of Verdi, The Symphony, The Chamber Music of Mozart, The Piano Sonatas of Beethoven, The Concerto, The Fundamentals of Music, The String Quartets of Beethoven, The Music of Richard Wagner, The Thirty Greatest Orchestral Works, and The Twenty-Three Greatest Solo Piano Works have been recorded since, totaling well over 600 lectures. The courses are available on both CD and DVD formats and in book form.

Dr. Greenberg’s book, How to Listen to Great Music, was published by Plume, a division of Penguin Books, in April of 2011.

In November of 2014, Greenberg’s show, Scandalous Overtures, debuted on

Robert Greenberg is a Steinway Artist.


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