« Neuf », like the nine symphonies, nine masterpieces, and so many more… How, in 2020, can an accordionist pay tribute to the considerable legacy left behind by Beethoven? This is the first question that came to my mind when René Martin, director of the Folle Journée classical music festival in Nantes, asked me to come up with a programme to mark the legendary composer’s 250th birthday.

« Neuf », like the leading note to ten, that drive to resolution, to a new chord, number, decade… after several weeks of deep reflection, it became obvious to me that this homage should go beyond the past, that its main theme should focus on new creations for the future. How better to acknowledge a musical genius than by composing new music in his name?

« Neuf », like the nine contemporary creations, signed by nine amazing composers with wildly different styles, who all took on the challenge of writing a piece inspired by a characteristic element taken from Beethoven’s work. Collaborating with them on this slightly crazy project was such a fantastic experience, equalled only by being able to perform their music now. My most sincere thanks go out to Domi, Corentin, Cyrille, Fabien, Jean-François, Patrice, Stéphane, Thibault and Thomas for their commitment, creativity, and talent.

« Neuf », like the nines you dress to, the accordion proudly wearing its pleated skirt as the latest invitee to the classical music scene, welcomed by the magnificent strings of my friends in the Quatuor Hermès string quartet and Édouard Macarez on the double bass: a sextet for free reign with each composition, a sextet for a bridge between the music of yesteryear and the music of today.

« Neuf », like the nine letters, in BEETHOVEN, in ACCORDION… both nine-letter words yet from vastly different worlds. A project for nine letters, nine creations, the whole nine yards to end this odd year on a high, helping bring a bright new future to my dearly beloved instrument, the accordion.