Pianist Ivan Ilíc gives premiere of rediscovered piano transcription

08 November 2016
Ilic-2-55754.jpg Ilic
Piano transcription of Haydn’s Symphony no 44, composed by Karl David Stegmann


The background behind the rediscovered piece...


Karl David Stegmann (1751-1826) was a versatile musician. A tenor, harpsichordist, conductor, and composer, he sang in the first German-language performance of Don Giovanni. He also had a passion for transcription, which he indulged by arranging twenty-odd Haydn symphonies for solo keyboard. The symphonies were published but quickly forgotten.


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In January 2016, the neighbor of a centenarian in Cologne came into a legacy. For helping Anny Gries with her groceries from time to time, Tordis Tesmer inherited a crate of scores, blackened with dust. She told her friend Veronika Lindenmayr about the gift... who told her friend, Serbian-American pianist Ivan Ilić. Among the grimy scores – of which many were first editions from the 19th century – was a worthy discovery: Haydn’s Symphony no 44, ‘Trauer’, which works astonishingly well as a concert piece. Ilić premiered the transcription at London’s Piano Day in March 2016, and went on to perform the symphony at Ludlow Music Society, in Berlin, and throughout France. There are plans for a CD for 2018.

Watch Ivan play the Presto from the transcription!