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In conversation with Jens Georg Bachmann
From the heart may it go to the heart

Jens Georg Bachmann
Jens Georg Bachmann | Photo (Detail): Alex Phenlon

His works are still omnipresent and continuously topical even 250 years after his birth. The Cyprus Symphony Orchestra celebrated this important anniversary for the music world and mankind with a series of concerts of Beethoven’s works in 2020. On this occasion we had the opportunity to talk to the director and chief conductor of the CySO, Jens Georg Bachmann.

How could Beethoven be described in 3 words?

Visionary, revolutionary, humanist.

In what sense was Beethoven innovative for his time?

After Haydn and Mozart, he was the one who, on the one hand, radically expanded the use of instruments (e.g. on the piano or: the kettledrum had never had such a relevant role in music history). On the other hand, he placed human emotions at the centre of musical expression in a universally valid way. He connected music and humanism forever.

What significance does Beethoven have for us today?

Beethoven’s music is an integral, central component of our classical music culture. His musical language is universal. He is a musical globalist in the best sense. This means that 250 years after his birth, the emotional message and meaning of his music has remained relevant and timeless.

How will the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday?

With a complete cycle: we will perform all 9 symphonies in the calendar year 2020, all piano concertos, the violin concerto, triple concerto and at Easter, in association with all music high schools in the country, the Choral Fantasy!

In addition to the performance of Beethoven’s symphonies, your programme also includes a family concert and the project with the music students. What is the best way to bring the music of Beethoven and other classical composers closer to the young generation?

By opening up to them the universal language of music and showing them the emotional relevance his music has for everyone. More specifically, we want to share Beethoven’s passion and our passion with young people. Or, as Beethoven said, “From the heart may it go to the heart.”

How do Cypriot audiences react to or receive Beethoven’s music?

No more differently than anywhere else. His music remains a magnet for audiences, and with the international and Cypriot soloists, we are delighted to be able to offer something exciting, varied and always stimulating for one and all at every concert. We are all very much looking forward to these concerts and I hope you are too!