/Breaking down Beethoven: Cynthia MacCrae performs all Beethoven sonatas

Breaking down Beethoven: Cynthia MacCrae performs all Beethoven sonatas

Cynthia MacCrae is completing a career milestone by performing all of Beethoven’s 32 sonatas in a series of 10 recitals at LeBaron Recital Hall.

On Monday, Sept. 23, MacCrae held her third recital to what she said was the biggest crowd yet.

She said she is playing the sonatas that have closely related keys; as an example, the third recital featured three sonatas that were in e major and minor.

“I took the pieces and arranged them like a jigsaw puzzle,” MacCrae said. “I played with them to find the best order.”


MacCrae has been at the University of Montevallo for 20 years teaching piano and piano-related classes.

The idea to conquer the sonatas has been in the “recesses of her mind” for a few years.

She had a semester-long sabbatical and said she decided it was time.

“It’s not done very often,” MacCrae said. “The last person to do it in the Birmingham area was about 20 years ago.”

She wrote the proposal for the project in 2012 and immediately began practicing after classes ended in the spring.

MacCrae also performs the sonatas every Tuesday night at Alabama Piano Gallery in Hoover.

When the series ends in January, MacCrae will have performed 20 recitals in a 5 month period.

Her next performance is on Monday Oct. 14 and will begin at 7:30 p.m. in LeBaron Recital Hall.

“It was just a germ of a thought,” she said. “I’m so glad I’ve been able to make it a reality.”

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