Vienna Media News 9-12/2020 Beethoven 2020 in Vienna
Temporary Beethoven exhibitions
Until November 2020 (tbc): Beethoven and his contemporaries
The Funeral Museum at the Central Cemetery gives a unique insight into Viennese funeral customs through hundreds of quirky exhibits, including the reusable economy coffin. Its special Beethoven exhibition takes a look at Beethoven’s life and death. Stand-out pieces include the death masks of Ludwig van Beethoven, Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Franz Schubert.
Funeral Museum at the Central Cemetery, Simmeringer Hauptstrasse 234, 1110 Vienna, www.bestattungsmuseum.at
Until Jan 10, 2021: Beethoven. World of the Man and Spark of the Gods
In 2020, the Austrian National Library is exhibiting original letters and handwritten scores of some of Beethoven’s most outstanding works in its Grand Hall. Among the highlights are pages from the Ninth Symphony and the autograph score of Beethoven’s only violin concerto (op. 61). In addition to 130 letters written by the great master, the music collection at the Austrian National Library also includes the Hoboken Collection, which contains virtually all of the first and early edition prints of Beethoven’s works.
Austrian National Library, Grand Hall, Hofburg, Josefsplatz 1, 1010 Vienna, www.onb.ac.at
Until Jan 30, 2022: The Triad of Viennese Classical Music: Haydn – Mozart – Beethoven. Similarities – Parallels – Opposites
The three composers had a lasting influence on their era – the heyday of Viennese classical music. In its new exhibition, the Mozarthaus Vienna will be exploring the similarities, parallels and opposites surrounding these three giants from the world of music. Mozart and Haydn were close friends who even performed together in Mozart’s apartment (today the Mozarthaus Vienna). Beethoven, who would have loved to have had Mozart as a teacher, later studied under Haydn.
Mozarthaus Vienna, Domgasse 5, 1010 Vienna, www.mozarthausvienna.at
Sep 29, 2020-Jan 24, 2021: Beethoven moves
This exhibition at the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien uses painting, sketches and sculptures alongside film clips, videos and performances to build a visual bridge between Beethoven’s time and the present day. Highlights include paintings by Caspar David Friedrich, William Turner’s sketch books, graphics by Francisco de Goya and Jorinde Voigt, sculptures by Auguste Rodin, Rebecca Horn and John Baldessari, a performative sculpture by Tino Sehgal and videos.
Nov 27, 2020-Apr 4, 2021: Ludwig van Beethoven. A Symphony in Pictures from Vienna 1900
Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony, commonly known as the Pastoral, provided the inspiration for the Viennese Jugendstil artist Josef Maria Auchentaller, himself a colleague of Klimt, to create a monumental set of paintings for the music room at jewellery makers Scheid in 1899. Reconstructed at the Leopold Museum for the first time, it epitomises the great reverence in which the fin-de-siècle Vienna Secession artists held Beethoven.
Leopold Museum, MuseumsQuartier Vienna, Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna, www.leopoldmuseum.org
Beethoven’s compositions are back on stage again in Vienna. Among the highlights are an evening at the Theater an der Wien with Beethoven’s work providing the musical backdrop to Goethe’s drama Egmont, as well as excerpts from Beethoven’s only opera Fidelio. Meanwhile, at the Wiener Konzerthaus, Beethoven aficionado Rudolf Buchbinder will be performing all of the composer’s piano sonatas (seven evenings between October 11, 2020 and May 25, 2021). Entitled “All Together: A Global Ode to Joy”, the Konzerthaus will be hosting a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth in Vienna on October 16, 2020 featuring the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra. On September 27, 2020 the Musikverein will host the Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen, who will perform various works including Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. The Japan Festival Orchestra and Choir will be at the same venue on October 11, 2020 to perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 and the Ninth Symphony. The musicians from Bartolomeys will be staging their Tribute to Beethoven on two nights (Oct 15 and Dec 1, 2020) at the MuTh – Vienna Boys’ Choir Concert Hall.
Beethoven’s Mass in C Minor can be heard at St. Stephen's Cathedral on November 21, 2020. The Collection of Historic Musical Instruments at the Hofburg will be hosting a matinee on September 27, 2020 and a soiree on December 17, 2020 in honour of the great man. Beethoven’s frequent changes of address provide the inspiration for the Theaterfink theatre group’s multi-location piece Ludwig van Beethoven – Der Um-Zugvogel. Set to music, a life-sized effigy of Beethoven will appear at different locations in the city on different dates, taking audiences back in time to Biedermeier Vienna.
Theater an der Wien, Linke Wienzeile 6, 1060 Vienna, www.theater-wien.at
Wiener Konzerthaus, Lothringerstrasse 20, 1030 Vienna, www.konzerthaus.at
Musikverein, Musikvereinsplatz, 1010 Vienna, www.musikverein.at
MuTh – Vienna Boys’ Choir Concert Hall, Am Augartenspitz 1, 1020 Vienna, www.muth.at
St Stephen’s Cathedral, Stephansplatz, 1010 Vienna, www.kunstkultur.com
Collection of Historic Musical Instruments, Hofburg, Neue Burg, Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna, www.khm.at
Beethoven sites in Vienna
The main place of pilgrimage for Beethoven fans in Vienna is the Beethoven Museum in the 19th district, which reopened in 2017 with numerous exhibits that tell the story of the maestro’s life in the city. It was in this building that he composed various piano works and viola sonatas, as well as the Christ on the Mount of Olives oratorio. He also worked on the Eroica Symphony at the property, where he composed a famous letter to his brothers which he ultimately never sent: the Heiligenstadt Testament, in which the musician wrote about his increasing deafness.
Beethoven lived at the Pasqualati House on Mölker Bastei in Vienna’s old town for a total of eight years on and off, in an apartment put at his disposal by his patron Johann Baptist Freiherr von Pasqualati. It was here that he worked on his opera Fidelio and composed several symphonies as well as the hit famous piano work Für Elise. Today his former apartment is the site of a memorial.
Gustav Klimt’s famous Beethoven Frieze can be seen at the Secession, which devoted an entire exhibition to Ludwig van Beethoven in 1902. This 34-meter-wide, two-meter-high wall painting, which draws its inspiration from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and interpretations of it by Richard Wagner, is one of the seminal examples of Viennese Art Nouveau. In 2020 visitors can listen to the fourth movement of a new recording of Symphony No. 9 in D Minor (opus 125) on headphones as they take in Klimt’s masterpiece.
The Collection of Historic Musical Instruments at the Hofburg is setting aside the opulent Marble Hall for Beethoven’s era. Highlights include a bust and two portraits of the composer.
Beethoven Museum, Probusgasse 6, 1190 Vienna, www.wienmuseum.at
Pasqualati House, Mölker Bastei 8, 1010 Vienna, www.wienmuseum.at
Secession, Friedrichstrasse 12, 1010 Vienna, www.secession.at
Collection of Historic Musical Instruments, Hofburg, Neue Burg, Heldenplatz (Weltmuseum), 1010 Vienna, www.khm.at
ivie – the digital city guide (available for iOS and Android) from the Vienna Tourist Board casts the capital’s sights in a fresh new light, and has no end of insider tips, stories and anecdotes on tap. It also features a special audio walk through Beethoven’s Vienna. The Vienna Tourist Board’s new free app for iOS and Android uses hundreds of photos and dozens of videos to paint an elaborate picture of life in the capital, making it the ideal accompaniment for any trip to the city.
The Vienna Tourist Board has developed an innovative voice application for Amazon and Google voice assistants for its Beethoven jubilee year. Users who activate the Beethoven’s Vienna (or the German version Beethovens Wien) with Alexa Skill or Google Action, will find themselves at the start of an interactive audiobook on the life and work of Ludwig van Beethoven. It recounts stories and anecdotes that include surprising details that will intrigue even the most well-informed Beethoven experts and reveal a great deal about his works and personality. Recordings of all nine of his Symphonies – performed by the Wiener Symphoniker under Philippe Jordan – provide the soundtrack.
ivie – the Vienna Tourist Board’s digital city guide:
- ivie for iOS: https://apps.apple.com/at/app/ivie-wien-guide/id1486840263
- ivie for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=at.vienna.ivie
Voice application for the Amazon and Google voice assistants:
Information on the Vienna Tourist Board’s “Vienna 2020. Capital of Music” theme year:
Vienna Tourist Board
Tel. (+ 43 1) 211 14-364