Classic FM Celebrates Beethoven’s 250th Birthday With Year-Long Series

Classic FM’s ‘Beethoven – The Man Revealed’, presented by John Suchet, will be the UK’s biggest radio series dedicated to a single composer.

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Classic FM will broadcast a year-long series about Beethoven’s life to celebrate his 250th birthday in 2020. Beethoven – The Man Revealed, presented, researched, and written by Classic FM presenter John Suchet, will be the UK’s biggest radio series dedicated to a single composer. The series will be broadcast every Saturday night (9 – 10pm) for 52 weeks starting on Saturday 4 January 2020.

Throughout Beethoven – The Man Revealed John Suchet will give listeners an unprecedented insight into the man behind the music. The series will feature Beethoven’s music to the fullest extent from his most famous compositions, including his Fifth Symphony, and his Piano Concerto No. 5 (‘Emperor’), to compositions that have rarely, if ever, been broadcast on UK radio.

Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 - I. Allegro con brio

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A special anniversary edition of John Suchet’s Sunday Times bestseller, Beethoven – The Man Revealed, will be published to accompany the Classic FM series featuring a new section exploring Beethoven’s major compositions with fascinating details and insights.

Beethoven composed some of the most spiritually exhilarating music in existence. He was the predominant music figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras and despite suffering far reaching medical and emotional torments (he became completely deaf by the age of 40) his music is a testament to the human spirit in the face of cruel misfortune. His innovative compositions widened the scope of the symphony, concerto, sonata and quartet and he combined vocal and instrumental music in his Ninth Symphony. His most famous works include nine symphonies, five piano concertos, thirty-two piano sonatas, sixteen string quartets, two masses and his only opera Fidelio.

Classic FM is the UK’s only 100 per cent classical radio station. The station began broadcasting in September 1992 and now has around 5.7 million listeners tuning in each week making it the biggest classical music radio station in the world.

Classic FM presenter John Suchet noted, “If you had told me 30 or more years ago, when I first began researching Beethoven’s life, that I would one day write and present the biggest ever radio series devoted to him, I could not possibly have believed you. It is beyond my dreams to be given 52 programmes in which to explore the life and music of the greatest composer who ever lived. When you know what is going on in his life, you hear his music through new ears. His deafness, his failure to acquire a wife, his difficult friendships, and his utter faith in humanity — all these feed into his music. I cannot wait to present the man behind the music in Beethoven – The Man Revealed.”

Sam Jackson, Senior Managing Editor, Classic FM added, “As the world prepares to mark 250 years since Beethoven’s birth, we’re excited to commission the biggest ever radio series about a single composer. Having dedicated more than three decades to studying Beethoven, our very own John Suchet is the perfect host, as he explores the fascinating and often unpredictable life of one of the most popular and influential musicians of all time.”

Beethoven – The Man Revealed will be broadcast on Classic FM every Saturday night (9 – 10pm) from 4 January 2020.

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