Everyone speaks of the ‘Beethoven brand’. Is that acceptable?

Not at all. It can’t be done – to borrow a pithy quote from our Chancellor. Beethoven was one of the most brilliant composers our western world has ever known. And even if this world has blurred all boundaries in its need to market anything and everything, I jump to his defence.

How would you describe BTHVN2020 as a metaphor?


It’s not a metaphor or a figure of speech, it’s a logo. And like every logo, it has to be memorable. In all likelihood it will be just that, first because it’s enigmatic, and second because it’s written in block caps as if it were a new insurance company. Its success may well lie in the interaction of these two factors.

What’s your dream for BTHVN2020? What’s most important to you about this project?


BTHVN2020 is an umbrella organisation. Its goal is to coordinate the efforts of a wide range of agents and create a festive and interesting jubilee. The Ninth is okay, but only with a purpose!  This umbrella organisation also has the right to turn out its own projects with maximum breadth of impact. It would be wonderful if the coordination would reflect our republic’s ambition to present Beethoven – a man born in Bonn, an uncompromising musical innovator with a strong social commitment – in such a way that he doesn’t degenerate into an entertainment figure or petrify into an icon of high culture …

What makes BTHVN2020 unique? What can we experience only in 2020 and only in Bonn?

Slow down! Only Bonn will have a ‘Bonn Tour’, that much is right, but otherwise we shouldn’t brag: Beethoven belongs to the world’s cultural heritage. It ought to be satisfaction enough if we work out who’s the Beethoven of our era (the term ‘Titan’ was dropped long ago) and do it at a high musical level.