Beethoven 250

Gemälde von Joseph Karl Stieler: Portrait Beethovens mit der Partitur zur Missa Solemnis Photo (Detail): © Joseph Karl Stieler

Ludwig van Beethoven (* 1770 in Bonn, + 1827 in Vienna) is known all over the world. The German composer and pianist was a pioneer of the Romantic period, that led classical music in Vienna to a higher level. He reshaped music and gave new meaning to terms such as "sonata", "symphony" or "concert". Influenced by the spirit of the French Revolution, Beethoven dreamt of a society "created by the individual and free from hierarchical structures, a society in which the free development of individuals is the ultimate purpose". His 250th birthday was celebrated around the globe in 2020.

Ode for all

A participative choir project of the Goethe-Institut on the occasion of the Beethoven Year 2020

Photo: Hasan Hüseyin Güneş
Ode for All – Choir rehearsal in Istanbul

The "Ode to Joy" was composed by Schiller in 1785. Several decades later, Beethoven congenially set it to music in the last movement of his 9th symphony. Its core messages "all men become brothers" and "Be Embraced, You Millions" have been unifying countries, continents and generations on many occasions: for the opening ceremony of the Olympics, as a giant sing-along concert or as the European anthem.