Sunday 15 Mar 2020, 10amLevel 5 Function Room, Southbank Centre, London

Tickets for this event are sold as general admission and no specific seat number is allocated.

The Philharmonia Orchestra’s Beethoven Day opens with an Insights Morning that will explore the power of Beethoven’s public image, and test it with conversations about its roots. What was it about his music that made him seem so exceptional to his contemporaries? What was his mammoth concert on 22 December 1808 meant to convey to the public? And what does it tell us now about the almost mythological figure he’s become?

Curated and presented by Beethoven expert Professor John Deathridge, Beethoven – Fiction and Reality will feature a panel of writers, philosophers and commentators, film screenings and a live performance from the Philharmonia’s MMSF Instrumental Fellows.

In December 1808, as reconstructed by the Philharmonia in the concert that follows, Beethoven presented himself and four hours of his music to the Viennese public as a retrospective of his latest work – music intended to uplift feelings about the future of art, humanity and religion. Beethoven has been represented in a variety of guises – hero of democracy, authoritarian visionary – without asking enough about the role of his music. What values and ideas did Beethoven truly represent? Where do the realities end and the invented Beethovens of romance, philosophy and film – even scholarly history – begin?

This concert is part of the Beethoven Day series