In 2020, the Historic Highlights of Germany will join the world in celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven. He is the world’s most played classical composer and his ‘Ode to Joy’ from the Ninth Symphony is the official anthem of the European Union.
Beethoven was born in Bonn on December 17, 1770, and there are plenty of sights and opportunities to follow his musical footsteps. His musical genius and humanistic convictions evolved at the court of Elector Maximilian Franz; his love of nature was awakened in the Rhine Valley and Bonn’s picturesque countryside.
Beethoven House, the composer’s birthplace which is scheduled to reopen in the latter half of 2019, is one of the few buildings to have escaped wartime destruction and is largely in its original condition. Every year, around 100,000 visitors enter the property in Bonngasse 20, which has been furnished as a museum. Although Beethoven, after serving his musical apprenticeship at the electoral court, left Bonn at the age of 22, his birthplace has built up the world’s largest Beethoven collection.
In the historic Im Mohren house next door, over two floors equipped with new media, visitors can go on an interactive tour through Beethoven’s legacy and explore an exciting audio visual world. Through the sculpture courtyard museum guests can enter the Studio for Digital Collections (ground floor) and the Stage for Music Visualization (historic vault).
Once a year, from the end of August to the start of October, Bonn hosts the Beethovenfest during which the best orchestras of Europe play dozens of concerts of Beethoven’s compositions. Star conductors and famous soloists such as Teodor Currentzis, Kent Nagano, Daniel Barenboim, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Martin Stadtfeld will come to the Rhine for the Beethoven anniversary in 2020.
One highlights are already available for ticket sale: The world premiere of Tan Dun’s ‘The Nine Project’ with the National Youth Orchestra of Germany and the World Youth Choir (Aug 8).
From March 12 – April 20, 2020, a musical river cruise (#BTHVN2020 Musikfrachter) will retrace Beethoven’s voyage from Bonn to Vienna. On board: A young and varied musical program inviting audiences along the route to come to the dock, listen, and participate.