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Beethoven and the Second Viennese School

Deutsche Welle project focused Georgia - DW-composition prize 2003 to Georgian composer Teimuraz Bakuradze


Beethoven at the center...

This year's International Beethoven Festival (20 September - 15 October 2003) offered a plethora of exciting music. The festival's director, Franz Willnauer, introduced a concert program with a rich variety of events that ranges from orchestra and chamber music concerts to several premieres of contemporary works. Supporting the musicians of tomorrow remained a main focus of the program as well, which has been a Deutsche Welle project for years. As media partner and one of the festival's main sponsors, Deutsche Welle doesn't just broadcast concerts from the Beethoven Festival, it also influences the concert program.

The International Beethoven Festival, held in the composer's city of birth, was offering yet another top-notch concert program this year under the motto "Beethoven and the Second Viennese School." Festival director Franz Willnauer and deputy director Thomas Daniel Schlee didn´t just simply put together a series of fantastic concerts though, each year they also choose a comprehensive theme. This year's theme was dedicated to the connection between Beethoven's work and the that of the Second Viennese School led by Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern, and Alban Berg; three composers whose inspiration came by talking a look back at Viennese classicism of the first half of the twentieth century led by Beethoven, Mozart, and Haydn. This year's Beethoven festival ambitiously explores the connections between the First and Second Viennese Schools.

As deputy director of the festival, Thomas Daniel Schlee was responsible for putting together the concert program:

O-Ton Thomas Daniel Schlee: "There was an ethical kinship, so to speak. Ideas of what art should be, what form it should take, and what function art should have in society. The leaders of the Second Viennese School agreed with Beethoven on these issues. Art is given an austerity that is almost holy. And then there's a close connection in technique and material. Namely using a work's own material to connect everything together, engulfing oneself in the material; something that Beethoven introduced into Western music. After all, it's on that basis that Schoenberg developed the twelve-tone technique."

Important works had been heard in the course of the fifty-two concerts of the Beethoven Festival, for example Schoenberg's monumental "Gurre-Lieder for Voices and Orchestra," as well as chamber music compositions and "Six Pieces, Opus. 6" for Orchestra from Anton von Webern. Not only instrumental works by Alban Berg had been performed, director Werner Schroeter staged his opera "Lulu" as well. The Beethoven Orchestra also performed the "Gurre-Lieder", successfully led by its new music director, Roman Kofman. Numerous internationally known orchestras and soloists came to this year's festival; Kurt Masur had conducted the Orchestre National de France for the opening concert. Other performances featured the Berlin Philharmonic with soloist Maurizio Pollini, conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch; and the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra with soloist Rudolf Buchbinder. Other prominent soloists included baritone Thomas Quasthoff, soprano Christiane Oelze, violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann, and pianist Fazil Say. Even the popular German actress Senta Berger performed a concert featuring works by Johann Strauss.

In spirit the same project that has brought wonderful young orchestras from Kiev and Ankara to Beethoven's city of birth and much to the excitement of Deutsche Welle, the orchestra of the Tbilisi State Conservatory had been invited to this year's festival. Those are regions and cultures that one doesn't necessarily associate with Beethoven. Deutsche Welle had also awarded a composition prize, an endowment of 5000 euros, to Georgian composer Teimuraz Bakuradze, who worked on a DW commission that had been premiered on the 23rd of September in Bonn's Beethoven Hall. Beethoven's "Second Piano Concerto" had also been performed at the concert, which was broadcasted worldwide by Deutsche Welle and Georgian Radio.

Along with the concert, the young and highly-talented musicians from Georgia had the chance to take part in a one-week orchestra workshop to work on classical Western repertoire with renowned orchestra conductors. This open workshop was made possible by Deutsche Welle and the Beethoven Festival in order to create an environment conducive to a lasting cultural exchange.

As media partner and one of three main sponsors, DW makes the International Beethoven Festival a worldwide event via DW-Radio in German, English, and many of the 28 other languages; as well as via DW-TV in German, English, and Spanish; and through DW-World at www.dw-world.de/beethoven.

Furthermore, featured stories about the concert program of the International Beethoven Festival are produced for DW-music programs. These programs will be offered to around 700 partner stations with detailed information in English, Spanish, Brazilian, and other languages.

Altogether, DW-Radio and DW-TV will be producing more than 5000 minutes of programming for the International Beethoven Festival.

DW-World offers video and audio files as well as selected manuscripts and a link to the festival homepage at www.dw-world.de/beethoven.


  • Autorin/Autor Dr. Gero Schließ
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  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/3P8G
  • Autorin/Autor Dr. Gero Schließ
  • Drucken Seite drucken
  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/3P8G