The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) is launching its global ‘Discover Beethoven’ campaign to coincide with the the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven in 2020

To promote the anniversary, the GNTB has signed a cooperation agreement with Beethoven Jubiläums Gesellschaft mbH. A subsidiary of the Beethoven-Haus Foundation, it has a remit to shape, promote and coordinate the anniversary year across the regions as an event of international significance.

A modern interpretation of classical heritage 

The GNTB has employed the latest digital communication formats in all of its source markets to position the classical heritage of Beethoven in a contemporary manner. For example, a virtual reality app will offer international visitors at GNTB events the unique experience of joining Beethoven at the piano to play parts of the Ninth Symphony.

There is also an augmented reality app that allows people to take ‘live’ photos with Beethoven. A microsite in German, English, French, Chinese and Japanese provides information on all aspects of the anniversary and related cultural tourism offerings.

Cultural tourism highlights for the 2020 Beethoven anniversary 

All of Germany will be commemorating the life and work of Beethoven as an artist, humanist, visionary, nature lover and citizen of the world for a whole year with a vibrant and diverse programme of events. Find out more here.

Calendar Of Activities

14 Mar – 3 May 2020, Beethoven’s Mother’s House, Koblenz: My son Ludwig: This evocative play, performed in the house where Beethoven’s mother Maria Magdalena was born and where she died, features a pianist and the composer’s music. 

In 2020, the Dresden State Orchestra will launch a Beethoven cycle comprising the First to Fifth Symphonies. The orchestra’s Beethoven interpretations first came to prominence under the conductorship of Richard Wagner, whose performances of the Ninth Symphony in the Palm Sunday concerts from 1846 onwards have gone down in classical music history. 

14 Apr 2020, Osnabrückhalle: The German National Youth Orchestra begins its Easter session with Beethoven’s Third Symphony, Eroica, along with a new work by Mark Barden that was specially commissioned for BTHVN 2020 by the German Music Council. 

From 12 Jun 2020: Open-air opera at Schwerin Castle – Fidelio: For the Schlossfestspiele festival, Beethoven’s only opera is performed against the magnificent backdrop of this historical residence set in the middle of a lake

20 Jun 2020: A celebration of Beethoven in the gardens of Rheinsberg Palace: Distinguished ensembles and the up-and-coming young soloists of the Rheinsberg Chamber Opera perform in an outstanding event for the Beethoven anniversary year that links music and nature and features both famous and seldom heard works. 

5 Jul 2020: MDR Summer of Music, Schloss Waldenburg, Young Talent 3: Winners of the EnviaM music competition perform works by Beethoven and Dvořák with two MDR musicians, Vera and Norbert Hilger, at Schloss Waldenburg. 

14 Aug Kurhaus Wiesbaden / 15 Aug Tauber Philharmonic, Weikersheim / 16 Aug Kongress Palais, Kassel: The German National Youth Orchestra and the World Youth Choir start their 2020 summer tour in Bonn by combining Beethoven’s masterpiece with the premiere of a work by Tan Dun. 

30 Aug 2020: The Ninth Symphony at the Festival Theatre, Bayreuth: In 1872, Richard Wagner conducted the Ninth Symphony at the Margravial Opera House to celebrate the laying of the foundation stone for the Festival Theatre. There were further performances to mark the resumption of the festival in 1951, for the 150th anniversary of Wagner’s birth in 1963, and in 2001 for the 50th anniversary of the New Bayreuth. 

6 Sep 2020 Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg: Heiner Goebbels: New Work. A cycle for the Ensemble Modern Orchestra (2020). 

17. Dec 2020 Final Concert Bonn Opera House: Daniel Barenboim conducts the IX. Symphony with the West-Eastern-Divan Orchestra and the European Choral Association – Europa Cantat 

In view of the anniversary, Lonely Planet has ranked Bonn, where Beethoven was born, fifth on its list of cities to visit around the world in 2020.