Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany in 1770. A famous statue of him was unveiled in 1845, the 75th anniversary of his birth, and the first Beethovenfest was held, with three days of performances attended by King Friedrich Wilhelm and by Queen Victoria!
Composer Franz Liszt was heavily involved both in the building of the statue and the presentation of the first Beethovenfest. He personally donated over 10,000 francs to the statue project and came out of retirement to perform at fundraising concerts. Liszt also performed at the Beethovenfest and conducted the Fifth Symphony. He even composed a piece just for the occasion: "Festival Cantata for the Inauguration of the Beethoven Monument in Bonn."
The Beethovenfest continues to this day. It’s been an annual event since 1998 and is held in September. This fall will be particularly special because the Beethovenfest will celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday!
The statue itself is located on the Münsterplatz in Bonn, in front of the former Fürstenbergisches Palais (which is the General Post Office today). The photo above shows the statue with many colorful replicas, exhibited at the 2012 Beethovenfest – much like the whales on Cape Cod or the cows in Chicago, each one with a different sponsor and artist.
Don’t miss out on our own Beethoven celebration – Beethoven Unleashed on April 6 and 7. Get your tickets now at capesymphony.org or call 508.362.1111.