Beethoven at 250: Happy Birthday, Ludwig!

Published on 3. December, 2020

One of the highlights in Bonn’s Beethoven House is Ludwig van Beethoven’s iconic portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler. Silver gray mane tousled, scarlet scarf tied messily, a musical masterpiece in his hand–the portrait has shaped the composer’s image since it was created 200 years ago. Today, the painting is also part of “Beethoven Everywhere”, an extensive online collection that celebrates the master’s 250th anniversary on Google Arts & Culture.

As director of Beethoven House, I am particularly happy that the project unites so many cultural institutions of international renown in sharing their Beethoven stories: from Carnegie Hall to Deutsche Grammophon and Karajan-Akademie, from Chineke! Orchestra to Berlin’s State Library and Vienna’s Secession.

When the partnership between Beethoven House and Google was set up in late 2019, I was excited about the vast range of digital possibilities it offered to our ‘classical’ collection – with a virtual 360 tour through the newly renovated museum being a planned highlight. Then 2020 took a completely different route, and with it the course of the many live performances and events planned for the anniversary year – our planned Beethoven celebrations with audiences around the globe had suddenly become impossible. 

I therefore am all the happier that today, two weeks to Beethoven’s 250th birthday, we can publish a digital resource to bring the composer and his legacy to fans around the world. As impossible as it is to name all of the great projects I saw, I feel these highlights might surprise you as much as they did me:

Original article Published here >

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