Digital Film Screening For Elise: Beethoven’s Bestseller

Alice Sara Ott spielt Für Elise © DokFabrik

Fri, 06/05/2020 -
Mon, 06/08/2020

4:00 PM - 11:00 PM


LUDWIG VAN: A cinematic celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday

A digital film series by Goethe Pop Up Kansas City
Our Digital Film Haus is celebrating Beethoven’s 250th birthday with a series featuring various documentaries about LUDWIG VAN. Each film focuses on a different aspect of the composer’s work and life to explore influences and interpretations of his unforgettable music.
For Elise: Beethoven’s Bestseller 
Director: Axel Fuhrmann
Authors: Axel Brüggemann and Axel Fuhrmann
Germany, 2011
52 minutes
English, German

How did this short piano piece, discovered by a musicologist thirty years after Beethoven's death, become a melody everybody knows? Together with pianists, Beethoven researchers, and composers, the film's authors trace the origins and meaning of Für Elise. They try to fathom the magic that this probably best-known work of Beethoven triggers anew in every generation worldwide. While pianists explain, analyze, and interpret the work, the film explores archives in Vienna and Bonn to determine which original sketches about this piece have survived. What do they say about the time of creation and the context of the work? And who was the mysterious Elise to whom the piece is dedicated?
The film will be available to stream on Vimeo from Friday, June 5th at 4:00 pm (CDT) to Monday, June 8th at 11:00 pm (CDT).    

Please send an email to for the Vimeo link and the temporary password. We will send you the link on Friday.

After enjoying the film, please join us for a Happy Hour Q&A with director Axel Fuhrmann moderated by Dr. William Everett, Professor of Musicology, on Tuesday, June 9th at 5:00 pm (CDT). The talk will take place on Zoom with Axel joining us from Germany. More here.