Dennis Kuhn

Dennis Kuhn (CH/DE) – Ludwig's harp

Dennis Kuhn about his piano piece “Ludwig’s harp”

“On the one hand there is the Beethoven-idea, on the other hand the drummer in me. The title is meant purely associative and more as a metaphor. I was thinking about, what Mr. van Beethoven might probably have composed for the harp, as he has never done that, even though there were already harps in his time. Since that is not the case, I have every (artistic) freedom to say something that does not exist. This is the game with the title of the piece. I do not want to explain everything, but to arouse curiosity. Anyone may think what he wants, for example, that I might have stolen from Cowell, etc… Ludwig’s Harp is my kind of a short-symbiosis of the tribute to Beethoven, my question to the harp and the use of percussive techniques in piano. The piece is a three-part song form “a b a”, one of the the most widely used in music, particular in sonatas. For the tonal material in my piece I “borrowed” 6 chords from the piano sonata No. 32, 2. mvt. (Arietta) Op. 111 by Ludwig van Beethoven.”


Sheet Music Edition Vol. 1 – available here: SHOP

Piano piece “Ludwig’s harp” – in concert:

18th Oktober 2013 – world premiere – Foyer Deutsche Welle – Susanne Kessel, piano

29th November 2014 – Bonner Kunstverein – Susanne Kessel, piano

23rd August 2015 – Studio der Beethovenhalle, Bonn – Susanne Kessel, piano

23rd September 2015 – Post Tower Lounge, Bonn – Susanne Kessel, piano

29th September 2015 – Speicher am Kaufhauskanal, Hamburg – Susanne Kessel, piano

21st November 2015 – Bonner Kunstverein – Susanne Kessel, piano

25th February 2016 – Klavierhaus Klavins, Bonn – Susanne Kessel, piano

11th March 2016 – Arp Museum, Rolandseck – Susanne Kessel, piano

11th May 2016 – Augustinum, Bad Neuenahr – Susanne Kessel, piano

10th December 2016  – Bonner Kunstverein – Susanne Kessel, piano

About Dennis Kuhn (*1957)

Dennis Kuhn was born in Olten, Switzerland. He played drums in various groups. He studied at the „Hochschule für Musik Basel“ and there he became a member of the „Basler Schlagzeugensemble“, directed by the famous Maecenas for music of the 20th century, Paul Sacher. In 1984 he founded the „Basler Schlagzeugtrio“ and also joined the „Deutsches
Schlagzeugensemble“ (German Percussion Ensemble). There he worked close with many composers, such as Karlheinz Stockhausen and Wolfgang Rihm. In 1995 he was appointed professor for percussion, timpani and ensemble at the „Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mannheim“ (University for Music and Performing Arts Mannheim). He is Head of Percussion and Timpani Department, Dean’s Office of Winds, Brass and Percussion and Member of the Senate of the University of Music and Performing Arts Mannheim and former and leader of the percussion ensemble “Mannheimer Schlagwerk”. Dennis Kuhn gave master classes in places such as Verona, Warsaw, Triest and many others. He was in the jury of the first (2009), second (2010) and sixth (2015) International Percussion Competition of China and JianLi Percussion Festival. There he also has held master classes and concerts.
Since 1979 he composes for various instruments and ensembles. Besides chamber and orchestral music he is involved in electronic/digital music. Mostly performed in Europe, his music was also played in the USA, Canada, Taiwan, Qatar, Korea and China. Many compositions were commissioned by the National Theatre Mannheim for the Mannheim Ballet for small
ensembles to large orchestra. Dennis Kuhn is a member of the leadership team for contemporary music at the venue “Alte Feuerwache” in Mannheim. He is prize-holder of a Swiss music award.

Website Dennis Kuhn

Dennis Kuhn on Ludwig van Beethoven:

“Den Namen Beethoven habe ich als Jugendlicher zum ersten Mal in Chuck Berrys Song „Roll over Beethoven“ gehört. Später wurde er Pflicht für mich als Orchestermusiker. Seine Musik kann mich als Hörer nur zum Teil begeistern, aber wenn, dann gewaltig. Im Grunde habe ich kein persönliches Verhältnis zu Beethovens Musik, ich verneige mich aber tief vor seiner kreativen und monumentalen Schöpfung.



Photo gallery: Dennis Kuhn in Bonn at “250 piano pieces for Beethoven”