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

It makes sense as a marketing strategy, but otherwise it doesn’t. Bearing in mind the breadth and complexity of Beethoven’s music and thought, it more apt to speak of a Beethoven continent.

How would you describe BTHVN2020 as a metaphor?

Brilliant and bedazzling. Turbulent and profound. Lofty and cheerful. Pensive and crazy. Nourishing and tantalizing. And all of that to the power of ten!

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

To show that culture is neither a luxury nor a nice but expendable ‘Sunday entertainment’. Rather, it is something that probes the foundations of our society in a crucial way and expands our knowledge by adding the very dimension we urgently need today.

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

I hope we’ll experience how the jubilee of a great composer can become the occasion for multi-voice interaction involving all areas of culture at the highest level. But it should also be a grand festival for everyone, bar none, and rather than petering out at the end of 2020 it should continue to reverberate in the future, turning Bonn into a genuine cultural capital.