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World premiere December 18, 2010

Dance. Beethoven has been interpreted in widely differing ways. Now his music finds new expression through two contemporary choreographers.

Dance production by Örjan Andersson and Lukáš Timulak.

Watch a movie from the performance.

Eternal ideals and continuous change forms the dynamic set of opposites that are contained within this evening of dance based on the music of Beethoven. Örjan Andersson and Lukáš Timulak have created the choreography. The latter has based his choreography on Beethoven’s powerful symphony no 3, Eroica, while Andersson has chosen the 32 Variations in C minor and Piano Sonata no 8 in C minor (Pathétique). The world famous Swedish pianist Roland Pöntinen and The Göteborg Opera Orchestra, conducted by Eri Klas, will provide the music.

Watch pictures from the performance.

Lukáš Timulak was a dancer at the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) for ten years and has recently become a full-time choreographer. He has done a number of productions for both NDT1 and NDT2 during the ten years he has been with the company, but he has also created productions for the Slovakian National Theatre in Bratislava. Since 2004 he has created all his works together with the graphic designer Peter Bilak.

Watch a movie from the rehearsal with Lukáš Timulak.

Örjan Andersson is one of Sweden's foremost contemporary choreographers and is known for his individual, visually sharp style, with a strong musicality. He has created pieces for his own dance company Andersson Dance, The Cullberg Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater 1 and Compañia Nacional de Danza, among others. This will be his third piece for The Göteborg Ballet.

Watch movies from the rehearsal with Örjan Andersson.

Beethoven wanted to dedicate his heroic symphony to Napoleon, but when he named himself Emperor Beethoven believed that he had distanced himself from his earlier high humanistic ideals. Beethoven himself was the subject of intense worship after his death. He was one of the first free artists and – due to increasing deafness – surrounded by increasing silence. Instead he listened to his inner self, to the musical creativity of his soul. Like a theme with many variations, Beethoven has been interpreted in many different ways. His music is now interpreted afresh through the work of two contemporary choreographers.

Roland Pöntinen, pianist

Roland Pöntinen
Roland PöntinenPhoto:Mats Bäcker

Roland Pöntinen made his debut in 1981 with Kungliga Filharmonikerna (The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra) and has worked with the leading orchestras in Europe, the USA, Korea, South America and New Zealand ever since.

Highlights of his career include concerts with the Philharmonic Orchestra in Paris and London; with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl; with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in Glasgow and Edinburgh; as well as performances at the London Proms where he performed both Grieg’s Piano Concert and Ligeti’s Piano Concert. Roland Pöntinen has built up an impressive repertoire, ranging from Bach to Ligeti. He is also a dedicated chamber musician and regular performs with musicians Ulf Wallin, Martin Fröst, Barbara Hendricks and in duets with fellow pianist Love Derwinger.

Pöntinen has performed at a large number of international festivals. In 2008 he was re-invited to the Piano Rarities Festival at Schloss vor Husum, where he took part alongside Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Together they performed music by Sjostakovitj and Prokofiev at the gala concert for Esa-Pekka Salonen’s 50th birthday, which was also broadcasted on TV. In 2009 he embarked on a three year project, during which he will perform all of Beethoven’s 32 Piano Sonatas. Roland Pöntinen has made over 90 separate recordings.

He is also a composer, and in 1998 his production Blue Winter premiered in Philadelphia and at the Carnegie Hall with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Wolfgang Sawallisch to much critical acclaim.

Pöntinen is a member of Kungliga Musikaliska Akademin (The Royal Swedish Academy of Music) and was awarded the royal medal Litteris et Artibus in 2001.

Heiligenstadt Testament

One of the sources of inspiration for dance production Eroica is the so called Heiligenstadt Testament, written by Beethoven as he was in the last stages of finally losing his hearing after many years of deterioration.

For my brothers Carl and (Johann) Beethoven Heiligenstadt, October 6 1802

O ye men who think or say that I am malevolent, stubborn or misanthropic, how greatly do ye wrong me, you do not know the secret causes of my seeming, from childhood my heart and mind were disposed to the gentle feelings of good will, I was even ever eager to accomplish great deeds, but reflect now that for six years I have been a hopeless case, aggravated by senseless physicians, cheated year after year in the hope of improvement, finally compelled to face the prospect of a lasting malady (whose cure will take years or, perhaps, be impossible), born with an ardent and lively temperament, even susceptible to the diversions of society, I was compelled early to isolate myself, to live in loneliness...

The entire letter will be translated for the Eroica programme.

Translated by: Astrid Pernille Hartmann


  • Genre: Dance
  • Season: 2010/2011
  • First show: 26 Dec 2010
  • Last show: 12 Jan 2011
  • Location:

    Main Stage

  • Length: 1 hour and 20 min, no pause.

Conductor   Eri Klas
Choreography   Örjan Andersson och Lukáš Timulak
Piano Soloist   Roland Pöntinen
Set design   Peter Bilak
Costume design   Nina Sandström och Tomoko Inamura
Light design   Udo Haberland och Thomas Visser
The Göteborg Ballet
The Göteborg Orchestra


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