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November 17, 2016
What's On

Pinchas Zukerman and the ASO

The most famous portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven is the 1820 work by painter Joseph Karl Stieler.

From within the frame, Ludwig stares out with furious intensity, gazing just above the viewer, his pen at the ready to capture whatever the ether delivers to him.


 Pinchas Zukerman is the ASO’s Artist-in-Association from 23 to 28 November. For tickets and further information on where you can see him perform, visit the website.

His wild eyes, and the frenetic brushstrokes portraying his grey locks, convey an artist trying desperately to squeeze out every last drop of creativity before death or deafness drains him of his abilities.

Similarly (but not too similarly), a clip of the prolific Pinchas Zukerman shows a comparable expression of deep concentration, this time with eyes closed, and an equally chaotic mop on top (plus era-appropriate sideburns), while the musician plays a dual role as soloist and conductor, placed physically in the ether just above his accompanying chamber orchestra.

It’s easy to imagine Beethoven attacking his ivory keys with the same fervour that Pinchas draws his bow, the latter perhaps more prone to crack a satisfied smile when everything is going right.

If the historical child prodigy had lived on, unhindered by ailing ears, into his 60s and beyond, maybe the Beethoven we remember would be something similar to the mellowed, low-simmering intensity of contemporary former child star, the prodigious Pinchas.

We’ll never know.

What we can say is Pinchas, paired with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, channeling Beethoven, Enescu, and Brahms, showcasing what it looks like when a 13-year-old kid from Israel is given the opportunity to flourish as an artist for five and a half decades, all hosted in our grand Town Hall, is an experience worthy of your weekend.

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