Beethoven 1-32 by Jorinde Voigt

ICC Celebrates Beethoven’s Beloved Piano Sonatas with Luminato

“This rising German star conceives her drawings like musical scores or algorithms with spiraling lines and arrows that ebb and flow across the page.” The Guardian, UK

The Institute for Contemporary Culture (ICC) at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is pleased to announce the world premiere of Beethoven 1-32 by Jorinde Voigt. Displayed on the Museum's Level 3 from June 9 to October 8, 2012, this exhibition is presented in partnership with Luminato.

Beethoven 1-32, commissioned by Luminato as part of its 2012 festival, features a series of 32 original drawings by Voigt, a rising star of the German art scene. It complements Luminato’s presentation of Stewart Goodyear: The Beethoven Marathon, Goodyear’s highly anticipated performance of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas, performed all in one day, in the order in which they were composed. Voigt’s works provide their own distinct visual interpretation and expression of the emotive power of Beethoven’s piano music. The exhibition opens just prior to the Luminato festival and runs until after Nuit Blanche in the fall.

“The ICC is pleased to partner with Luminato to present Jorinde Voigt’s first-ever Canadian solo exhibition at the ROM, and showcase her amazing drawings for Toronto audiences,” says Francisco Alvarez, Managing Director of the ICC at the ROM. “Beethoven 1-32 is a unique opportunity to experience Jorinde Voigt’s singular interpretation of the synergies between music and graphic art, along with her overall contribution to contemporary drawing and visual culture.”


Voigt’s musical training goes back to childhood cello lessons, and as a visual artist today, she cites the concentration required of those lessons as the source of her artistic discipline. “My work is like music, you can enjoy it without being able to read the score,” she says.

Voigt’s academic credentials include philosophy and literature, multimedia, visual art studies, and visual cultural studies from various respected European institutions such as London’s Royal College of Art. As a practicing artist, Voigt’s earliest solo show dates back to 2006 at the celebrated Perm Millennial exhibition for the Fahnemann Projects in Berlin. Voigt has also participated in several group exhibitions, dating back to 2002, where she landed firmly on the international stage as part of the Liverpool Biennial International Festival of Contemporary Art. Beethoven 1-32 marks Voigt’s first ever solo exhibition in Canada – her previous Canadian exhibition being the 2009 Sweep Me Off My Feet group show at Quebec City’s Musée national des beaux-arts.

“With their precisely plotted arcs and spirals, their vector and contour lines, and their frequent textual annotations, the abstract drawings of Jorinde Voigt evoke a world of diagrams and charts run wild,” notes Jorn Weisbrodt, Artistic Director of Luminato.


This spring, Voigt’s first ever exhibition in the United States, entitled Piece for Words and Views took place at the David Nolan Gallery in New York City. Inspired by Roland Barthes’ 1977 book, A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments, the exhibition featured a series of 36 collaged drawings created from 2008 to 2012, along with two sculptural installations. In addition to Beethoven 1-32, Voigt will be participating in the group show Turbulence, taking place at the Louis Vuitton Espace Culturel in Paris later this summer. This March, Voigt was awarded the prestigious Contemporary Drawing Prize 2012 of the Daniel & Florence Guerlain Art Foundation, for her exceptional contribution to illustration as an art form.


Ludwig van Beethoven (born in 1770 in Bonn, Germany; died in 1827 in Vienna, Austria), was a crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, and remains one of the most famous and influential of all classic music composers.

“Spanning the length of his compositional career, Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas provide a window into his personal musical development, and they show the concept of the piano as an instrument and the piano sonata as a genre undergoing an extraordinary evolution. The sonatas are not simply compositions for the piano, but are about the developing technology of the piano itself, an evolving instrument that Beethoven pushed to its limits and then beyond, ultimately writing music for an idealized piano that didn't come into existence until some 40 years after his death.” - Professor Robert Greenberg, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, course instructor for Beethoven's Piano Sonatas.

The Institute for Contemporary Culture

The mission of the Institute for Contemporary Culture (ICC) at the Royal Ontario Museum is to stimulate diverse audiences to think creatively, understand and change the world. Inspired by the mission and collections of the ROM, the ICC examines living societies and the natural world, linking the present to the past through innovative exhibitions, special events and the creation of dynamic original content using new technologies. For more information:

About Luminato

Luminato is Toronto's fifth season when the festival stages the best of our city and invites the world to celebrate and transform it with us. Luminato is an annual multi-disciplinary celebration of theatre, dance, music, literature, food, visual arts, film, magic, and more. For more information, please visit

Luminato gratefully acknowledges the generous support and vision of its Founding Luminaries, SuperNova donors, and Patron Circle Members. The Festival would not be possible without the support of our Partner in Creativity, L’Oréal Canada. Luminato also acknowledges the support of its Founding Government Partner, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, and the City of Toronto. Luminato Partners: L’Oréal Canada, TELUS, Kia Canada, President’s Choice, Manulife Financial, National Bank, VISA Infinite. Major Media Partners: Toronto Star, CBC, The Globe and Mail, Cineplex Media, St. Joseph Communications.