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Beethoven as a Humanist

Beethoven ardently espoused the values of the French Revolution: liberty, equality, fraternity. His attitude has lost none of its relevance today.

  • Key Visual: Beethoven as a Humanist | Copyright: © Sonja Werner

    Key Visual: Beethoven as a Humanist © Sonja Werner

Beethoven closely followed the political upheavals of his day. He openly sympathised with the ideals of the French Revolution: liberty, equality, fraternity. He had already come into contact with them in his Bonn years: in a letter of 1795 to his boyhood friend Heinrich von Struve he longs for the day ‘when there will only be human beings’ and men will be treated according to their dignity.

The BTHVN2020 Jubilee programme will delve into Beethoven‘s critique of society, his importance as an historical figure outside the realm of music, and the various political misappropriations that his music has endured. His utopia of peaceful co-existence among humankind will also leave its mark on the programme.

Central projects of the BTHVN2020 main theme 'Beethoven as a Humanist‘ are a large-scale citizens’ initiative with 2,500 domestic recitals throughout Germany, a new staging of the ‘Fidelio’, the performance of all ‘Leonore’ operas and the world première of a new composition on this topic, the Ninth and ‘Ode of Joy around the Globe’ as well as an exhibition on ‘Music and Politics’.

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