Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827) is the most frequently performed classical composer in the world and one of the most important ambassadors for European culture. His works belong to the cultural heritage of all humanity. Interest in his music has remained unabated for centuries and become a global phenomenon. Beethoven is ubiquitous and perennially modern. His name is known far beyond the world of music. He even fascinates, moves and unites people in the worlds of advertising and film, sports and politics.
Beethoven created musical universes and seminal works that burst the limits of human imagination in his day and left a lasting imprint on music history. He is fascinating proof that human creativity knows no bounds. He rebelled at any semblance of convention routine. He was an intellectual maverick and forward thinker who expanded the boundaries of music and constantly posed questions to society. Several of his mightiest creations arose under conditions of increasing deafness. His radical artistry has made him an inspiration and role model for countless numbers of people. His music is visionary and reflects European society in a state of upheaval. It thus far transcends its original context and points the way to modernism. His works lend a voice to an unbridled will toward social change, loftiest humanism, freedom of the arts and social utopias, all of which have laid claim to universal validity to the present day. His music leads us to central questions of our identity and the future of our society.
Beethoven occasionally signed his letters and scores with the abbreviation ‘Bthvn’. The main themes of BTHVN2020 take their bearing on these alphabetical characters: