Motto 2012
"Art has a Mind of its Own"

"True art has a mind of its own. It cannot be forced into flattering moulds," noted Beethoven in 1820 in one of his conversation books. Starting out from this quote, the Beethovenfest Bonn, under the motto "Art has a Mind of its Own", is focusing on the artist in a global context. At the centre are the musicians, who, like Beethoven, are ahead of their time, and yet pursue their chosen path unflinchingly. In the process they transcend boundaries and make statements through their individual approaches.
At the Beethovenfest Bonn, we seek to engage these boundary-crossers. They include Martin Grubinger, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Lisa Batiashvili, András Schiff, Daniel Hope, the Borodin Quartet, Kit Armstrong and Esa-Pekka Salonen. To mark the London Olympics, Salonen with his Philharmonia Orchestra, is exclusively presenting a Beethoven Symphony Cycle; the Beethoven works will be interspersed with five contemporary compositions, one from each of the five continents. With many other musicians with whom we have fostered intense and constructive contacts for years, we are developing special programmes in which we demonstrate that we too have a will of our own.
As Beethoven’s heirs, we feel a sense of duty, and just like him, we are often ahead of our time. Our student manager project is now the model for similar projects nationwide. By training young people, we are safeguarding our own future and the one of the live concert experience.
With Kent Nagano and the Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Michael Tilson Thomas with the London Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Andris Nelsons and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen with Paavo Järvi and Herbert Blomstedt, the best orchestras are once again guests at our festival.
I should like to thank all our backers, sponsors and foundations, as well as our patron state premier Hannelore Kraft, for the trust they have placed in us and for their generous support!

Ilona Schmiel
Director of the Beethovenfest Bonn