for Beethoven

… for Beethoven (Bonn 2020).

“I will hear in heaven“ (Ludwig van Beethoven)


Beethoven’s music is performed all around the world. To date, his work is inspiring composers, musicians, music lovers and concert-goers worldwide.

As a citizen of Bonn, I walk daily through the same streets where Beethoven once roamed. In view of the 250th anniversary of his birth in 2020, which will be celebrated worldwide, the desire arose inside me to offer a great gift to him. Something that will engage many musicians, something to last. This volume is the first part of this gift.

The piano was Beethoven’s main instrument; besides the great sonatas he also loved short piano pieces which he called Bagatelles. The idea of a contemporary “collection of musical ideas” with short piano pieces was, therefore, a natural progression. For the occasion, I envisioned 250 piano pieces by 250 composers, casting a new light upon Beethoven’s works.

With this in mind, I began personally inviting composers to write a piano piece relating to Beethoven. Because of the large number of compositions that I would need to also rehearse and which I want to premiere in Bonn, I had to start early with this long-term project. It is heading for Beethoven’s birthday in December 2020 as a “work in progress”.

Susanne Kessel