Beethoven’s final piano sonatas to be performed at Sweet Briar

Posted on November 05, 2017 by Janika Carey

Sweet Briar College will present “The Final Piano Sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven,” performed by Timothy R. Gaylard, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12, in Memorial Chapel. The event is sponsored by the Lectures and Events Committee and is free and open to the public.

The concert will feature three special works written by Beethoven (1770-1827) during the last years of his life: Piano Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109 (1820-21); Piano Sonata no. 31 in A-flat major, Op. 110 (1821-22); and Piano Sonata no. 32 in C minor, Op. 111 (1822-23).

Timothy Gaylard
“We are truly privileged to welcome Dr. Gaylard to our campus community,” said Assistant Professor of Music Anna Billias, who is organizing the concert. “These Beethoven sonatas are very challenging material, and I look forward to hearing them performed by a pianist of such exceptional ability.”

A professor of music, Gaylard joined the faculty at Washington and Lee University in 1984. He was head of the department from 2000 to 2008 and interim chair from 2012 to 2013. He is both a musicologist and a pianist.

As a musicologist, Gaylard’s recent research has included work on English piano music, the history and development of the Prague Spring Festival, the piano music of Liszt, and the last three piano sonatas of Beethoven. He presented papers for the American Musicological Society on “Charon Dialogues” and “The Meeting of Mozart and Beethoven in 1787.” Publications include several liner notes for recordings, including those by Luciano Pavarotti, Kiri Te Kanawa and other singers on the Gala and Bella Voce labels. Since 2011, he has been a regular reviewer of the Roanoke Symphony for The Roanoke Times.

As a pianist, Gaylard has won several prizes and awards in music festivals and competitions in Ottawa, Toronto and Quebec, and has performed on radio and television in both the United States and Canada. He has played as soloist with the Ottawa Civic Symphony and with the orchestras of Carleton, Columbia and Washington and Lee universities. On the Washington and Lee campus, he has given many solo recitals in the Lenfest Center for the Performing Arts, Wilson Hall and Lee Chapel.

Gaylard has collaborated in performances with cellist Julia Goudimova; violinists Jaime McArdle, Mark Taylor and Ting-Ting Yen; oboist Lillian Townsend Copeland; tenor Scott Williamson; sopranos Amy Cofield, Amy Cochrane and Christine Schadeberg; and baritones Greg Parker, Jason Widney and Keith Spencer. He is a regular member of the Marlbrook Chamber Players, with whom he has given many recitals. Gaylard and his colleague, Shuko Watanabe Petty, also a pianist, have worked together on several four-hand and two-piano recitals. In 2014, they released an album on the Navona label of Clementi works, performed on an 1814 Clementi fortepiano given to the university by alumnus Larry Smith ’58 and his wife, Ganelle.

Gaylard has been a lecturer for the Glebe Scholars program, the Kendal College program, the Rockbridge Community Chorus and the Washington and Lee Alumni College program. For the latter, he has taught 73 courses on campus and traveled abroad with 10 educational trips. At Washington and Lee, Gaylard teaches History of Western Music, Classical Music, Romantic Music, American Music, Introduction to Music, Applied Piano and a spring term course titled “Music in the Films of Stanley Kubrick.” He advises senior music majors in both piano performance and music history. From 1988 to 2016, he was the director of the Washington and Lee Concert Guild, an organization that sponsors a series of classical concerts performed by nationally and internationally renowned artists and ensembles.

A native of Ottawa, Canada, Gaylard studied piano with Irene Woodburn Wright and later with Ross Pratt at Carleton University, where he received his B.A. in mathematics (1975) and Bachelor of Music degree (1976). Gaylard also holds two A.R.C.T. degrees from the University of Toronto in piano performance (1972) and pedagogy (1974), and a diploma from the Mozarteum in Salzburg (1974), where he studied with Winfried Wolf. He received his Ph.D. in musicology from Columbia University in New York with a dissertation on “Musical Dialogues in Seventeenth-Century England” (1987, 2 volumes, 613 pp.).

Gaylard is a member of the American Musicological Society, the College Music Society, the Mozart Society of America, the American Beethoven Society, the American Liszt Society and the Music Teachers National Association.

For more information, email Billias at or call 434-381-6491.