Breaking Beethoven

Author: Only Hands Small

Breaking Beethoven is a documentary on how creativity defies any challenge and turns a devastating situation into a celebration of music, humour and hope.

  • Breaking Beethoven | Copyright: © Music Traveler Productions, Julia Wesely

    Breaking Beethoven © Music Traveler Productions, Julia Wesely

  • Breaking Beethoven | Copyright: © Music Traveler Productions

    Breaking Beethoven © Music Traveler Productions

How can one celebrate the genius of Beethoven midst a worldwide pandemic?
Does the great maestro still have a place in a world in crisis?
What happens when most of the celebrations, festivals and concerts are cancelled?

In preparation for the “Beethoven Year 2020”, violinist and composer Aleksey Igudesman dealt with the unsurpassed composer in detail. Both came to Vienna as foreigners to live and work, re-shaping the “capital of music” in their own way. In a series of interviews with stars Billy Joel, Hans Zimmer, Joshua Bell, Rebekka Bakken, Julian Rachlin, Juan-Diego Flórez and Yuja Wang, Igudesman uncovers their personal relationship with Beethoven.

In January, Igudesman and his musical partner Hyung-ki Joo reinterpreted Beethoven’s works in an original and defiant way in their latest programme “Beethoven’s Nightmare”, commissioned to celebrate the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra’s 100 years anniversary. As an additional highlight, a television production with the WDR and ORF was in planning, where Igudesman and Joo’s extraordinary Beethoven programme was to be presented to an audience of millions.

But then everything changed.

“Breaking Beethoven” shows how Igudesman and Joo managed to create their new show during the pandemic, demonstrating how even the hardest times can be an inspiration for creative artists. Excerpts from Igudesman & Joo show “Beethoven’s Nightmare” and “And Now Beethoven” can be seen, as well as a glimpse at John Malkovich presenting the most evil reviews of Beethoven’s work from his time.



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