Motto - »distant beloved«

We all know the ‘great’ Beethoven of the symphonies, sonatas and string quartets. The Beethoven of revolutionary gestures, the innovator and visionary, actively engaged with the outside world.

For the 2017 Beethovenfest Bonn we’ve decided to cast light on a ‘different’ Beethoven. The Beethoven who turned his inner life into sound. And the proper genre for doing this is art song. An die ferne Geliebte – ‘To the distant beloved’: thus the title of Beethoven’s famous song cycle of 1816. Not only does it signify a turn towards lyricism and love – and chamber music – it also marks the beginning of his late creative period.

We also make room for songs by other composers, whether Schubert, Hugo Wolf or Johannes Brahms. For love, after all, is our topic, from Renaissance madrigals to the gushing sounds of Romanticism, sounds that centre on a Scheherazade or a Cleopatra, on lovers such as Daphnis and Chloé, Orpheus and Euridice, Romeo and Juliet. Not to forget the fugitive phantasms of love in modernist music.

Diversity in love calls for a diverse programme. Besides international orchestras, acclaimed soloists and a busy weekend of string quartets, we offer world premières, period sounds, prize-winner recitals, contemporary dance and a thousand other mirror-reflections of this year’s motto: ‘Distant Beloveds’.

Welcome to the 2017 Beethovenfest Bonn!

Nike Wagner
Director General