To celebrate 250 years since his birth, we gather the world’s finest musicians in a year-long exploration of classical music’s most mythologised genius: the music, the man, and his place in our time.
So as well as presenting his complete Symphonies, Piano Concertos and recitals from the likes of Evgeny Kissin and Anne-Sophie Mutter, we explore some of Beethoven’s less familiar works. Sir Simon Rattle conducts the LSO in Christ on the Mount of Olives as he compares and contrasts Beethoven and Alban Berg, while the Academy of Ancient Music perform his complete incidental music for Egmont.
And we consider how contemporary composers approach this monolithic figure, with David Lang’s prisoner of the state viewing Fidelio through a modern lens and Matthew Herbert offering an irreverent response in Beethoven NEIN! during our Beethoven Weekender – two days of music, talks, films, exhibitions and Level G events promising to be the ultimate celebration of the great composer.
London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle: Half Six Fix
Sir Simon Rattle conducts Beethoven’s final symphonic epic in this early-evening Half Six Fix concert, introduced on stage by the conductor.
London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle
Marrying emotive force with theatrically, Sir Simon Rattle sheds light on a rarely performed Beethoven masterpiece and Berg’s lyrical Violin Concerto with Lisa Batiashvili.
BBC Symphony Orchestra: Missa Solemnis
A cornerstone of the Barbican’s celebrations of 250 years since Beethoven’s birth: his musical vision of the divine is unleashed by the forces of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Chorus and vocal soloists.
Anne-Sophie Mutter plays Beethoven
Three of Beethoven’s most celebrated violin sonatas from one of the world’s pre-eminent violinists.
BBC Symphony Orchestra/Oramo
A landmark concert as the Orchestra and Chief Conductor Sakari Oramo resurrect an explosive, elegiac and rhapsodic symphony once buried by history and prejudice.
Gardiner conducts Beethoven: Symphony No 1
From the anarchic chords that open his First Symphony, Beethoven’s symphonies are more than just music: they’re acts of revolution.
Gardiner conducts Beethoven: Symphony Nos 2 and 3
If Beethoven’s Second Symphony is the sound of a young artist stretching his wings, the Third – the Eroica – is the moment when his genius takes flight.
Gardiner conducts Beethoven: Symphony Nos 4 and 5
Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Beethoven Symphony cycle reaches its halfway point with the most famous four notes in the history of music.
Gardiner conducts Beethoven: Symphony Nos 6 and 7
Birds sing, horns call and streams flow: there’s no experience more refreshing than Beethoven’s lovely Pastoral symphony. And there’s none more exuberantly physical than his unstoppable Seventh.