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Sonata for Broken Fingers

An Opera 

Music by Joe Cutler | Libretto by Max Hoehn

World Premiere: CBSO Centre, Birmingham 14th July 2024

Commissioned by Opera21 in partnership with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Birmingham Record Company | Supported by the Radcliffe Trust and Vaughan Williams Foundation

A midnight call from Joseph Stalin throws Radio Moscow into chaos. The ageing dictator has requested a recording of a piano sonata to be delivered to the Kremlin the following morning. There’s one problem: the recording does not exist and the pianist was arrested years ago. But you cannot say no to Stalin. Radio Moscow make a desperate attempt to satisfy the dictator’s request in time.

Inspired by the life of the virtuoso pianist Maria Yudina, this darkly comic thriller explores the role of music in people’s lives during one of the darkest periods of Soviet history. 

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