Nicholls Music, Beethoven 250 to Bring World-Renowned Artists to Thibodaux

THIBODAUX, La. — Beethoven’s sonatas are often called “The New Testament” of piano literature and this spring you can experience them live in the Mary and Al Danos Theater. 

World-renowned pianists from Brazil, Cuba, France and Ireland will perform each of them alongside Nicholls State University faculty and students in a spring concert series beginning Jan. 25. 

Beethoven 250 – named for his 250th birthday this year – will feature eight concerts totaling 10 hours of music. The 32 piano sonatas span the entirety of Beethoven’s life. 

“Beethoven 250 is a celebration of one of history’s most important and influential composers,” said Dr. Richard Jeric, Nicholls piano instructor. “Some listeners might experience sonatas they have never heard before. Others may be surprised by a fresh look at an acclaimed sonata. In either case, each sonata will be performed at the highest level of artistry.”

The first performance of the season is Dr. Jeric at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25. He will perform five of Beethoven’s sonatas including the “Les Adieux” Sonata. Dr. Jeric has performed around the world, including in Carnegie Hall. Among his achievements, Dr.Jeric is a winner of the Naftzger Piano Award and the 2012 Artist Presentation Society Auditions in St. Louis.

Nicholls professor and Steinway Artist Dr. Luciana Soares will perform three sonatas including the “Pathétique Sonata at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1. A native of Brazil, Dr. Soares has performed as a soloist and collaborative pianist in the United States and abroad.

Also as a part of Nicholls’ Black History Month program, Dr. Adonis Gonzalez will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8. He will perform three sonatas including the “Tempest” Sonata. The Cuban native’s debut album, “Adios a Cuba” received a Latin Grammy nomination. He is a professor of music at Alabama State University.

Mathilde Handelsman will perform five sonatas including Beethoven’s youthful Sonata for Four Hands with Dr. Jeric, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15. Born in Paris, Handelsman has won multiple U.S. and international competitions. She has been playing the piano since she was four and regularly performs as a soloist and chamber pianist in the U.S. and Europe.

Brazil-born Dr. Diego Caetano will perform three sonatas including the “Waldstein” Sonata at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22. Dr. Caetano has been featured in music festivals from around the world and has performed in venues including Carnegie Hall. 

On Saturday, March 7, Brian Woods will perform three sonatas including the “Hammerklavier” Sonata at 7:30 p.m. Woods will take part in several Beethoven 250 celebrations this year. He has had success at the Verona International Piano Competition, the American Prize and the St. Louis Artist Presentation Society Auditions.

Internationally renowned pianist John O’Conor will perform three sonatas at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 21. The Dublin native has been performing for over 40 years and is considered “the world’s premier Beethoven interpreter.” He won 1st Prize at the International Beethoven Piano Competition in Vienna in 1973. 

A student performance will be the final concert of the season. It will feature eight sonatas including the “Moonlight” Sonata. The concert is free and will be at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 2. O’Conor will offer the students a masterclass and work with the students on the sonatas as they prepare for the concert. Dr. Soares will be offering the primary instruction.

“Being a part of this project will be a highlight of their studies at Nicholls. And it will be an experience of which few other piano majors can boast,” Dr. Jeric said.

The doors for each concert will open an hour before, and bar service will be offered to patrons. Each concert will also open with a pre-concert lecture at 7 p.m., so you can learn more about Beethoven and the music being performed. 

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. To buy tickets, call 448-4600 or purchase them at the door. The concerts are free to Nicholls students, faculty and staff.

Sponsorship opportunities for the concert are still available. 

Money raised from the concert series will go back into the music department to support students. 

For more information about the concert or sponsorships, visit Contact Dr. Mary Jackson at 448-4020 if interested in a sponsorship.


MEDIA CONTACT: Jacob Batte, Media Relations and Publications Coordinator, 985.448.4141 or

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