Inside the Hearing Machine

Piano Sonatas Opus 109, 110 and 111

A new CD and documentary by pianist and artistic researcher Tom Beghin
In collaboration with: keyboard maker Chris Maene, acoustician Thomas Wulfrank, music historian Robin Wallace, Tonmeister Martha de Francisco and sound engineer Steven Maes


Inside the Hearing Machine // documentary from Orpheus Instituut

“You do hear better when you bring your head under this machine, don’t you?”
André Stein to Beethoven in June 1824

In 1818 Beethoven received a Broadwood piano: he remained attached to it until the end of his life. But those years coincided with his increased deafness. In 1820, a solution came in the form of a gigantic Gehörmaschine, commissioned from the piano builder André Stein, who in turn enlisted the skills of a local tinsmith.

Tom Beghin surrounded himself with a team of specialists to reconstruct Beethoven’s private multi-sensory laboratory. Through a 52-minute film-documentary, the team explains how Beethoven “deafly composed” at his English piano - hearing, seeing, but mostly feeling the vibrations of his beloved instrument.


Tom Beghin profite de cet univers sonore inouï, qui le pousse vers des régions inusitées dans les dernières sonates de Beethoven (Diapason, Dec. 2017)

Related researchers


Inside the Hearing Machine

Documentary premiere and launch of the CD

10 October 2017, 19.00

Unique premiere of Inside The Hearing Machine, a documentary on Beethoven's hearing machine directed by Steven Maes. This event is also the official launch of the CD with the same title, with performances of Beethoven's piano sonatas opus 109, 110 and 111 by Tom Beghin. 

 Tom Beghin_c_Pieter Peeters