Everyonespeaks of the 'Beethoven brand'. Is that acceptable?

Many people associate the term 'brand' with marketing, and when cultural items are involved it often raises fears of commercialisation and dilution. To my mind, these fears are unjustified. The guiding idea behind the ‘BTHVN2020’ brand shows a way out of this impasse. It bundles everything Beethoven stands for, and everything that will take place in 2020 with regard to Beethoven, and communicates it with high recognition value. I therefore assume that the branding campaign will sharpen the image of Germany as cultural nation, and Bonn as a city of Beethoven, and is thus absolutely necessary.  

How would you describe BTHVN2020 as a metaphor?

I view the Beethoven discovery year as a prism that takes a beam of light and breaks it down into a wide range of colours, allowing us to see Beethoven from many different angles. Beethoven is extremely varied, both as a man and as an artist. BTHVN2020 will help us approach him from multiple perspectives.

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

For me, of course, the main focus clearly falls on refurbishing the permanent collection in our museum, in Beethoven’s birth house. The point is to display and communicate Beethoven in a modern and timely fashion at the place of his birth during his anniversary year.

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

BTHVN2020 is a collaborative festival on which hundreds of people have been working for over a year. It offers great opportunities to shed fresh light on the present-day and future relevance of Beethoven and classical cultural values. The entire world will celebrate Beethoven’s anniversary year, but the focus will naturally fall on Bonn, the place of his birth, and its authentic Beethoven sites. Not to mention such unique projects as the great public exhibition on Beethoven to be mounted in the Bundeskunsthalle in early 2020. We reckon that it will draw a large international public to Bonn.

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