Presented by Strathmore

32 Bright Clouds: Beethoven Conversations Around the World is a global music-commissioning and performing project, born from a need to respond to current social and political environments in the U.S. and worldwide with a personally meaningful and purposeful musical endeavor.

The project combines the 32 Beethoven Piano sonatas with 32 newly commissioned short piano compositions from 32 composers in 32 different countries spanning the globe. 

32 Bright Clouds engages composers hailing from countries where conflict and instability create challenges and obstacles for artists, and countries where classical music is not a widespread form of artistic expression.

The project aims to harness music's great power for unity and peace, cherishing and enjoying the differences of diverse peoples and cultures and presenting their works on the concert stage. Yael Weiss will be performing all the new works as well as the Beethoven Sonatas world-wide in different combinations and formats.

Each of the newly commissioned compositions is a personal exploration of material from a specific Beethoven Sonata, while also offering a unique expression of the composer’s local musical language. A single motif from the final section of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis also appears in every piece, creating a cohesive cycle of works. The motif was selected because of Beethoven’s compelling inscription "A Call for Inward and Outward Peace" above the notes. Beethoven's dedication expresses the overall essence, purpose, and character of 32 Bright Clouds. Each work makes use of this motif as a musical “code”, representing our shared human experience and the universal aspiration for peace.

Show Notes


Ludwig van Beethoven - Sonata in E-flat Major, Op. 31 No. 3 "The Hunt" I. Allegro

Malek Jandali (Syria, B. 1972) - The Hunt for Peace (Dedicated to the Syrian children and their noble quest for peace)

Saed Haddad (Jordan, B. 1972) - Nuages Funebres (Funeral Clouds)

George Mensah Essilfie (Ghana, B. 1967) Hope for the Shackled (Dedicated to people in Ghana with psychiatric disorders, who are subjected to torturous and inhumane confinement)

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) - Sonata in C-sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 1 "Moonlight" I. Adagio Sostenuto

Ananda Sukarlan (Indonesia, b. 1968) - No More Moonlight Over Jakarta (Dedicated to the bravery of Ahok, the imprisoned ex-governor of Jakarta)

Sidney Marquez Boquiren (Philippines, b. 1970) - Unheard Voices (Dedicated to the victims of extrajudicial killings, whose voices have been unheard)

Aida Shirazi (Iran, b. 1987) - Apres...

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) - Sonata in E-flat Major, Op. 81s "Les Adieux" (complete)