Bonn rings praise for Beethoven
TWIG - The western German city of Bonn this week celebrated the life and work of its favorite son, composer Ludwig von Beethoven. The annual three week-long festival, which kicked off September 19, includes 56 performances in 21 different locations, many of which were sold out months ahead of time.
The festival began in the city’s Beethoven Hall with a performance of Beethoven’s 8th symphony by the Bamberg Symphonic Orchestra under the direction of Jonathan Nott.
This year’s motto, "Bohemia," reflects the organizer’s wish for the festival to reconnect with the cultural significance of Bohemia, a historical kingdom in present-day Czech Republic. Thus Beethoven’s music will be performed alongside that of the composers from that region that his music influenced, such as Antonin Dvorak and Leoš Janácek.
Festival highlights will include piano performances by Yundi Li, Murray Perahia, and a concert performed by the German Symphonic Orchestra of Berlin under Kent Nagano.
In addition to world-class music, the festival hopes to recapture Beethoven’s musical spirit through a series of lectures, films, theatrical performances, and a kids’ program.
Nearly half of the festival performances will be broadcast as far away as China on Deutsche Welle and GermanRadio.
Beethoven and Bonn
Beethoven spent over a third of his life in Bonn. He was born there in 1770, just steps away from the Minorite Church St. Remigius, where he was baptized and later practiced on the church organ. By 14, he was already a paid musician at the court of the Prince of Bonn. He left the city in 1792 to study under Joseph Haydn in Vienna.
And although he never returned to the city of his birth, a near-deaf Beethoven once said to the landscape architect Peter Joseph Lenné in his final years: "I understand you. You speak Boennsh" (a dialect of Bonn).
Over 40 of Beethoven’s works were composed in Bonn. Today,
the city’s Beethoven Haus, with its museum, instruments, archives and
library, is one of the most beloved musical pilgrimage sites in the world.
Beethoven Haus Bonn
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