Beethoven 250



You can’t have any idea what it’s like always to hear such a giant marching behind you!

December 2020 will mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven. In terms of both his own ground-breaking works and his influence on others, he is probably the most important single figure in the history of music. He single-handedly reshaped the musical language of his time and strode the
transition from the 18th to the 19th century like a colossus. His shadow hung over much of the following century: ‘You can’t have any idea what it’s like always to hear such a giant marching behind you!’ as Brahms said.


But Beethoven’s influence went much further than music, affecting the wider artistic, cultural, philosophical and even political world. The philosopher Isaiah Berlin described him as “the great artistic figure of the nineteenth century, who impressed himself deeply upon the imagination of Europe’. Beethoven’s own view of himself as a creative artist was in itself revolutionary, in seeing music and art as having the power to change the world “Music is ... a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy”. But perhaps above all Beethoven represents the notion of artistic and personal freedom, telling us to “do all the good that one can; love, above all, freedom, and even for a throne, never deny the truth.”

Across the International Concert Series and in the Chamber Music Series in 2019/2020 we explore ‘Beethoven: Before and After’ and in the autumn of 2020 we will undertake a survey of a cross-section of his output, culminating in a special series of concerts to mark his 250th anniversary of his birth in December 2020.

Yuja Wang

International Concert Series 2019/2020

Wednesday 4 September 2019
Staatskapelle Dresden | Myung Whun Chung, conductor
Brahms Symphony No. 2

Wednesday 16 October 2019
London Mozart Players | Howard Shelley piano/conductor
Mozart Piano Concerto No. 25 and Haydn: Symphony No.104

Sunday 10 November 2019
Christian Tetzlaff violin | Lars Vogt piano
Beethoven Sonata for piano and violin No. 6

Saturday 23 November 2019
RIAS Kammerchor | Justin Doyle chief conductor
Brahms Liebeslieder waltzes

Monday 20 April 2020
Emanuel Ax piano
Early Beethoven piano music, including the Three Sonatas Op. 2

Thursday 30 April 2020
Vienna Chamber Orchestra | Paul Lewis piano
Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart

Wednesday 13 May 2020
Camerata Ireland | Barry Douglas conductor/piano
Lynn Harrell cello | Dmitry Sitkovetsky violin

Beethoven Triple Concerto and Fifth Symphony

Chamber Music Series

Hugh Tinney curates two series of chamber recitals

Series 1: October/November focuses on Beethoven and his predecessors: Mozart, Haydn, Clementi and C.P.E. Bach.

Series 2: Spring 2020 pairs Beethoven with both his great classical role models Mozart and Haydn and his Romantic era successors Schubert, Brahms and Schumann

Chamber Music Series to be announced June 2019

Hugh Tinney