Motto - "Music for the Future"

In the year that marks the bicentenary of Liszt’s birth, the Beethovenfest Bonn looked back on its long tradition and connexion with the composer, for it was in 1845 that Franz Liszt organized a music festival on the occasion of the dedication of the Beethoven Memorial on the Münsterplatz in Bonn, which itself coincided with what would have been Beethoven’s 75th birthday. The Beethovenfest Bonn 2011, with its motto "Music for the Future. Beethoven, Liszt and Innovation in Music" presented Liszt as a personality, virtuoso, visionary, patron and composer who revered Beethoven, and on this basis developed his own "music for the future", whose echo resounded until well into the 20th century.
We honored Liszt the composer with a Liszt Night: ten concerts at five different venues; and Liszt the patron by reconstructing the second concert of his 1845 Beethoven Festival, with Concerto Köln conducted by Ivor Bolton. We should note that Liszt had a concert hall built specially for this first Beethoven Festival: this must be our benchmark at the latest when we come to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth in 2020!

With Anne-Sophie Mutter, Hélène Grimaud, Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Sir Colin Davis with the London Symphony Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly and the Gewandhausorchester and with Paavo Järvi and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen as "orchestra in residence", we put together an outstanding programme. A further climax awaited our guests at the Orchestra Campus organized by Deutsche Welle together with the Beethovenfest: the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq, which performed outside its homeland for the first time.

I should like to take this opportunity to thank all the supporters, sponsors and foundations as well as our patron, state premier Hannelore Kraft, for the confidence they have shown and for the great support they have provided in 2011.

Ilona Schmiel
Director of the Beethovenfest Bonn

Bonn, March 2011