On 17 December 2020 the world will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven. As part of an ambitious year-long anniversary campaign Deutsche Grammophon and their artists will celebrate Beethoven 250 with a wide range of projects, digital concerts, and innovative releases on and around the composer’s birthday including:
Max Richter Beethoven – Opus 2020
Inspired by Stockhausen’s unconventional homage to Beethoven, Opus 1970, Max Richter has created his own tribute with a new orchestral work, Beethoven – Opus 2020. The world premiere recording of the work, featuring pianist Elisabeth Brauß with the Beethoven Orchester Bonn and conductor Dirk Kaftan, will be digitally released on 17 December, the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. Max Richter’s ‘Andante Loops’, a solo piano piece derived from Opus 2020, will be premiered on 11 December in Apple Music’s Beethoven Room.
Yellow Lounge Beethoven 250
Deutsche Grammophon’s cult classical club night returns after a long break due to the global pandemic. Pianist Seong-Jin Cho, cellist Kian Soltani, and musician and producer Christian Löffler will perform an exclusive programme to celebrate Beethoven 250 at the composer’s birthplace, the Beethoven-Haus Bonn, on 12 December which will be broadcast live on Deutsche Grammophon’s YouTube channel.
Parallels (Beethoven) Shellac Reworks
Musician, producer and visual artist Christian Löffler will release Parallels (Beethoven) Shellac Reworks – an experimental electronica tribute to celebrate Beethoven 250. He has reworked recordings of some of the composer’s orchestral works, recorded by the Staatskapelle Berlin and the Berlin Philharmonic in the 1920s, which will be digitally released on 27 November as part of the Shellac Project, a collaborative initiative with Google Arts & Culture.
Krystian Zimerman on DG Stage
Almost three decades after making his legendary recording of the Beethoven piano concertos with the Vienna Philharmonic and Leonard Bernstein, pianist Krystian Zimerman will perform the complete cycle again this December with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle. Viewers will be able to watch the concertos on 17, 19 and 21 December on DG Stage – The Classical Concert Hall, Deutsche Grammophon’s online destination for exclusive concert performances. Krystian Zimerman’s recording of the concerto cycle will be digitally released in December and on CD and vinyl in April 2021.
The Final Symphony – A Beethoven Anthology
An innovative graphic novel telling the story of Beethoven’s life through striking new visuals, illustrated by world-famous artists, will be published in December 2020 to celebrate Beethoven 250. The Final Symphony – A Beethoven Anthology features contributions from Max Richter, pianist Alice Sara Ott, and violinist Ezinma.
Deutsche Grammophon has recorded more of Beethoven’s music than any other record label
Deutsche Grammophon has a long and proud association with Beethoven’s music. In 1913 the label produced a recording of the Fifth Symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic and Arthur Nikisch. Eleven decades later the label launched their 250th anniversary campaign and released, among other recordings, Beethoven – The New Complete Edition, created in collaboration with the Beethoven-Haus Bonn. Deutsche Grammophon has recorded more of Beethoven’s music than any other record label and their world-class artists have released their own personal tributes reflecting the depth and breadth of the composer’s timeless catalogue.
Conductor, pianist and activist Daniel Barenboim emphasized the challenges for those performing Beethoven’s music: “He forces you to go to the edge, to the precipice and then the abyss. That takes a tremendous amount of courage.”
Music has the power to heal us, comfort us and give us courage in challenging times so PLAY ON!
For full details of Deutsche Grammophon’s Beethoven recordings click here.