Jan 10 2020
'Revolutionary. Youthful energy, vibrancy, enthusiasm'
IN 1770, a child was born in the city of Bonn, then part of the Holy Roman Empire, who would go on to become a towering genius of music. His name was Ludwig van Beethoven.
His compositions are among the greatest and most recognisable in classical music – the ‘Moonlight’ Sonata, Für Elise, the Fifth and Ninth symphonies - and are among the most extraordinary ever composed. Indeed, the ‘Ode To Joy’ segment of the Ninth is used as the Anthem of Europe. Such a figure is more than worthy of celebration, and given 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, it is fitting that Music for Galway’s annual mid-winter festival should focus on the great man.
The festival, simply entitled Beethoven, takes place in the Town Hall Theatre from Friday January 17 to Sunday 19, and will feature concerts and talks, from a host of Irish and international musicians, including Cédric Tiberghien and Alina Ibragimova, as well as musicologist Richard Wigmore. “It was a no brainer for us to run a Beethoven festival this year,” Music for Galway’s artistic director Finghin Collins tells me, as we sit for the interview in NUI Galway, “and 2020 seems to have a lot of anniversaries, with Beethoven, and St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church being 700 years old.”
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