Weekend Concert Series

Christopher Taylor, piano

Beethoven/Liszt Symphonies Project, Part II

Sunday, April 26, 2020
1:30 - 3 pm
Calderwood Hall

This Weekend Concert has been canceled. If you have any questions, contact the Box Office at 617 278 5156.


Ludwig van Beethoven (arr. Franz Liszt), Symphony No. 3, Eroica (1803, arr. 1864)
Ludwig van Beethoven (arr. Franz Liszt), Symphony No. 4 (1806, arr. 1864)

Isabella Stewart Gardner idolized Beethoven. The life mask of the composer (below) is still on view at her Museum. To celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth, pianist Christopher Taylor will scale the Everest of piano literature, works Vladimir Horowitz called simply "the greatest works for the piano."

Christopher Taylor’s historic survey of Liszt’s Beethoven symphony transcriptions takes on the titanic Eroica and its gentler, but no less revolutionary cousin, the Fourth, which Robert Schumann described as “a slender Grecian maiden between two Nordic giants” (i.e. the Third and Fifth symphonies). These transcriptions are masterpieces in themselves, and ideal chances to hear this music as if for the first time.

She was also a great admirer of Liszt, and was in fact travelling to meet with him when he died suddenly. Gardner attended his funeral, supported his grieving family, and cast the first shovel of earth onto his coffin. These astounding transcriptions by Liszt are not fantasias on the original material but rather scrupulously faithful avatars of Beethoven's original scores. They provide a laser-sharp look inside the workings of the music, illuminating their structures as if lit from within. This is the ideal way to hear Beethoven's seismic masterworks in a completely fresh way.

Life Mask of Ludwig van Beethoven

Copy after Franz Klein (Austrian, 1779-1840), Life Mask of Ludwig Van Beethoven, after 1812

Lock of Franz Liszt's Hair

Lock of Franz Liszt's Hair in a Box (German), about 1886


Tickets are required and include Museum admission. Choose from two seating sections. See inside back cover for details.


Adults $36, seniors $33, members $24, students and children ages 7–17 $15 (children under 7 not admitted).


Adults $31, seniors $28, members $19, students and children ages 7–17 $15 (children under 7 not admitted).

How to buy tickets:

  • Online: Click the TICKETS button*
  • By phone: Call the box office at 617 278 5156, Wednesday–Monday, 10 am–4 pm; Thursday until 6 pm; CLOSED TUESDAY*
  • In person: Visit the Museum and purchase tickets at the door, Wednesday–Monday, 11 am–4:30 pm; CLOSED TUESDAY

For sold-out performances, standby tickets may be available in the lobby no earlier than one hour before the performance begins. We cannot guarantee availability of standby tickets for sold-out performances.

*Handling charges apply to these orders.


  • Seating in Calderwood Hall is open within each seating level.
  • To request accessible or wheelchair seating, or large-type programs, please call the box office at 617 278 5156.
  • Seating begins 45 minutes before performance time. Once the performance begins, seating is not guaranteed.
  • Tickets purchased online or by phone within 14 days of the concert will be held at the admission desk.
  • For sold-out performances, standby tickets may be available in the lobby on the day of performance. We cannot guarantee availability of standby tickets.
  • No refunds or exchanges will be made.
  • Programs are subject to change.


The Museum thanks its generous concert donors: Fitzpatrick Family Concert; James Lawrence Memorial Concert; Alford P. Rudnick Memorial Concert; Marie Louise and David Scudder Concert; Wendy Shattuck Young Artist Concert; and Willona Sinclair Memorial Concert. The piano is dedicated as the Alex d’Arbeloff Steinway. The harpsichord was generously donated by Dr. Robert Barstow in memory of Marion Huse, and its care is endowed in memory of Dr. Barstow by The Barstow Fund. The Museum is also supported in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which receives support from the State of Massachusetts and the National Endowment for the Arts.