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All events Insights

Beethoven – Fiction and Reality

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Christian Geldsetzer smiling, holding a double bass, waering casual clothing

Curated and presented by Beethoven expert Professor John Deathridge, including a Q & A with pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard.


Anna Kondrashina – flute
Matthew Kitteringham – bassoon
Joe Howson – piano


Beethoven Trio for piano, flute and bassoon in G major

The Philharmonia Orchestra’s Basingstoke 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 explore Beethoven’s early years in Bonn, his move to the big city of Vienna as well as giving a short introduction to the 1808 Akademie. The event includes a performance by young artists from the Philharmonia’s MMSF Instrumental Fellowship Programme, as well as a Q & A with Pierre-Laurent Aimard.

In December 1808, 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?

After the event

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