©Sim Canetty-Clarke

This is an archived event

Imogen Cooper

Beethoven: Diabelli Variations

Imogen Cooper piano 

33 Variations on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli, commonly known as the Diabelli Variations, is Beethoven’s last major composition for piano. In Alfred Brendel’s opinion it’s “the greatest of all piano works”.

Diabelli gave the theme to a large number of contemporary composers, asking them to submit variations on it for him to combine and publish as publicity for his firm. Beethoven was one of them but – typically – decided in the end to go his own way and in so doing created what the critic Donald Tovey called “the greatest set of variations ever written”.

As Imogen’s father, Martin Cooper, has written, “The variety of treatment is almost without parallel, so that the work represents a book of advanced studies in Beethoven’s manner of expression and his use of the keyboard, as well as a monumental work in its own right.”

 Programme notes can be downloaded here. 

Regarded as one of the finest interpreters of Classical and Romantic repertoire, Imogen Cooper is internationally renowned for her virtuosity and lyricism. She has a widespread international career, appearing with all the world’s major orchestras, and is also a committed chamber musician and Lieder recitalist.

Imogen received a CBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours in 2007, the 2019 Queen’s Medal for Music in 2019 and a DBE in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours. She founded the Imogen Cooper Music Trust in 2015, to support young pianists at the cusp of their careers and give them time in an environment of peace and beauty. This year she will chair the jury at the Leeds International Piano Competition.

“Imogen is one of the greatest musicians England has produced. She’s utterly without show. Mozart, Schumann and Schubert could have been written for her. There’s a poetic, reflective side to her which is always there in her playing.” Sir Simon Rattle


The concert is expected to last approximately 60 min.


Fri 8 Oct 2021 4.00pm and 8.00pm

Little Missenden Church

£25, £18, £10

Imogen Cooper 70th Birthday Concert at Wigmore Hall