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What is radically new in music in the 21st century?

250 years after Beethoven’s death, PODIUM Esslingen has chosen twelve young musicians to examine the essential questions and structures of musical creation. What is composition? How do music and today’s technology interact? What is the future of classical music in a globalized world and what does the creation of music of the future look like?

The fellowship program named #bebeethoven was inspired by the 250th anniversary of birth of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), one of the most innovative composers of his time.

He radically advanced artistic formats such as the symphony and chamber music and led music into a new, Romantic era and musical expression and technology. As a composer with bourgeois patrons and thus free from court formalities, Beethoven set an example of a new “business model”, allowing his political convictions to play a role in his life and his work. In so doing, Beethoven, like no other, left an imprint on musical art for generations to come.

This long-term project called #bebeethoven draws on these characteristics of Beethoven, historically, personally and politically. With this in mind, twelve fellows will explore key areas of musical creation: composition, concert design, interpretation, music and technology, performance and outernational events.

To good cooperation

In collaboration with PODIUM Esslingen and the six renowned project partners CTM Festival, Ensemble Resonanz, Operadagen Rotterdam, Radialsystem V, Tonhalle-Orchester Zuerich and ZKM Karlsruhe, these artists will explore, among other things, working with new technologies, discuss the development of aesthetic innovation and the expansion of interpretative practice and develop future concert formats. Artistic ideas, approaches and formats are needed more than ever in a time of technological, cultural and social upheaval.

The results will continue to be presented live on bebeethoven2020.com and on PODIUM Esslingen and by its participating partners. The project will culminate in a grand festival in Esslingen and Bonn in 2020.

PODIUM Esslingen

Founded in 2009 as a small, alternative chamber music festival for young people, it has quickly developed into a multifaceted platform for innovation in the area of classical and contemporary music in just a few short years. With the motto Music at Will, it allows true-to-life and interdisciplinary concerts as well discursive and experimental formats to be created.

PODIUM Festival Esslingen is the most important annual event and showcases numerous innovative productions, programs and experiments. Another focus is a comprehensive educational program. Numerous domestic and international guest performances as well as PODIUM satellite festivals in Kloster Bebenhausen (Tuebingen) and Radialsystem V, Berlin, are part of the large annual program. Henry, the virtual music curator, was created together with PODIUM Digital in 2016 to form their own digital space for artistic formats. Project #bebeethoven is part of this future laboratory for the creation of music in the 21st century.