BTHVN 2020 – CELEBRATE BEETHOVEN’S BIRTHDAY WITH US!
The whole world is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest musicians in history. We invite you to celebrate Beethoven at the National Forum of Music throughout the entire 2019/2020 season.
Two hundred and fifty years with the works of Beethoven is a reason for joy. The genius with disheveled hair revolutionized music, broke the rules of composition, surprised and even shocked listeners, "stretched" artistic forms to release emotions. The great Viennese Classicist paved the way for Romantic music. Tormented by passion, experiencing existential dramas (hearing loss), he was a Romantic to the bone, a singer of natural beauties, regenerating himself during walks in the woods, dreaming of a peaceful life in the countryside, although every day lived the life of a freelance artist in a bustling European capital. Known for being sullen and coarse at times, he nevertheless won the hearts of many friends, who faithfully supported him throughout his life. In fact, his life was lonely, because despite the ease of falling in love, he showed consistency in choosing women who would not reciprocate his ardent feelings. He closely followed political and social issues of his day (and indeed lived in turbulent times), eagerly supported the ideas of the French Revolution and the Enlightenment ideals.
The scale of his talent is evidenced by the fact that he wrote much of his work when hard of hearing or deaf. Calling him a star of the cosmic format is not an overstatement, because as many as two of his works are drifting in the universe on the Voyager spacecraft, recorded on a disc with a presentation of Earth’s civilization. The composer has probably inspired the biggest number of memes in the history of classical music, being a regular guest on social media. Anyway, he popped into pop culture in the 1970s, when disco stars Walter Murphy and Big Apple Band arranged his symphony into the song A Fifth of Beethoven, to which John Travolta would rock in Saturday Night’s Fever. Beethoven is also a graceful topic for Hollywood and for many of us he will always have the face of Gary Oldman from Immortal Beloved directed by Bernard Rose or Ed Harris from Copying Beethoven by Agnieszka Holland.
Who can Ludwig van Beethoven be for modern people in 2020? A great symphonic composer, whose legacy will challenge every composer taking on the genre? The author of catchy music themes that everyone knows, if only from commercials or cinema? Let’s think about the beginning of the Fifth Symphony, called the motif of fate knocking on the door, the choral finale of the Ninth Symphony with the words of Schiller’s Ode to Joy, popularized as the European Union anthem, or the piano nocturne for the unidentified Elise, perhaps the world’s most popular waiting signal for a phone call. Above all, in 2020 Beethoven is, like 250 years ago, a visionary whose works we can read anew in a way adequate for our times and issues, an artist not only inspiring musicians of the 21st century, but also having a lot to say on matters so important also today like social changes or the relationship between man and nature.
At the National Forum of Music, we celebrate the birthday of the genius with as many as 15 concerts in the Beethoven Cycle. There will be four symphonies (an apotheosis of nature, the Pastoral Symphony will be played by the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra), in addition we will hear the monumental Missa Solemnis with the NFM Choir, and chamber music, including performances by Richard Lin, winner of the last Wieniawski Competition, and Daniel Stabrawa, concertmaster of the Berliner Philharmoniker, who will lead Wrocław artists in the Beethoven Septet, the form being a rare quest on concert platforms.
Concerts on historical instruments promise mind-blowing experiences. Outstanding soloists such as Kolja Blacher and Elisabeth Leonskaja will perform with the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic, NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra and Wrocław Baroque Orchestra.
In late February and early March, we invite you to the Beethoven Academy, during which young artists will learn how to interpret the master’s works consistent in the historically-informed style typical of Beethoven’s time, and the audience will attend not only concerts, but also lectures, meetings with artists and open rehearsals.
In 2020, let Beethoven surprise you. Listen to the master at the NFM!