Composer, innovator, musical radical: Upcoming festival celebrates Beethoven’s 250th birthday in experimental style

This year marks 250 years since the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven. One of the many events happening in Berlin to mark the occasion is Labor Beethoven 2020, a contemporary reflection on the composer's musical experimentation, which was radical for the time.

Photo (c) Susanne Elgeti


This year marks 250 years since the birth of one of the most renowned composers of all time, Ludwig van Beethoven. Germany has poured 27 million euros into marking the occasion, and there are a number of events happening here in Berlin, including Labor Beethoven 2020, which is a contemporary reading of the work of Beethoven.

We spoke with Julia Gerlach, the head of music at the Akademie der Künste Berlin and the director of Labor Beethoven 2020, to find out more about some of the musical experimentation that has grown out of the celebration and how this benefits the composer’s legacy.

Labor Beethoven starts next Thursday, March 12 at the Akademie der Künste and runs through March 18. The music and compositions featured in this segment come from Werner Cee, Thanos Sakellaridis, and Manolis Ekmetsoglo.


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