Germany launches jubilee year for Beethoven's 250th birthday

BONN, GERMANY (dpa)- Thunderous applause and an overture to the Vienna premiere of the opera "Fidelio" in Bonn's opera house were the sounds that kicked off a jubilee year honouring the life and work of Ludwig van Beethoven in Germany on Monday.
Conductor Kirk Kaftan led his Beethoven Orchestra through a performance of the renowned piece with momentum and spirit, becoming the first of countless artists, musicians, academics and enthusiasts to pay homage to the composer ahead of what would have been his 250th birthday on December 17 next year.

"To this day, his music touches, moves, inspires and connects people across all borders," Culture Minister Monika Gruetters said in a ceremonial address about the composer.
Around 1,000 concerts, operas, exhibitions and conferences are planned nationwide in the anniversary year - many of them in Bonn, where Beethoven was born in 1770.
The nationwide cost of the anniversary event - estimated at more than 42 million euros (46.8 million dollars) - will be covered by the federal government, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Bonn region.
The Beethoven jubilee programme, Gruetters said, opens up different approaches to celebrating the composer.
The festival represents an invitation to listen, she said, and differentiates itself from anniversaries in years past that have been used for political purposes: for German nationalism in the 19th century, for perseverance slogans during war time or for the exaltation of German culture under the Nazi regime.

Tuesday, December 17th 2019

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