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The 249th Beethoven Birthday Bash

SPIRIT: The 249th Beethoven Birthday Bash

Chicago, December 13-16, 2019


The International Beethoven Project is excited to announce the 10th annual Beethoven Birthday Bash celebration in honor of the composer’s 249th birthday, December 13-16, 2019. This multi-day event based in Chicago, and online throughout the world, will honor Beethoven the musician and the man through this season’s chosen theme: SPIRIT.

Through this theme, we ask many questions. Beethoven is dead! What remains of him today? Can his spirit be measured? Can his influence be quantified, explained? Is the value of his work and of the energy he deployed through his life waning or waxing? Should we even celebrate Beethoven? Should we relegate him and his music to the dustbin of history or does he still have something of value to share with us today? What remains of the music and of the man 249 years on?

SPIRIT gives us an opportunity to question deeply, to seek the intangible, to explore the meaning of genius, of timelessness, of universality, and of love. SPIRIT is a chance for us to understand what brings humans together, and to go deeper in exploring how and why music and human expression have so much power over us. SPIRIT is our attempt to connect to Beethoven across time and space, and to be inspired anew to give the best of ourselves, as he did, in a world that is all too often chaotic and depressing. SPIRIT is our attempt to find harmony and meaning in our dissonant world, and to see if Beethoven’s spirit of creativity, courage and compassion can still renew hope in a world ravaged by humanitarian, social, and climate crises on a scale never before experienced in human history.

We will debate and attempt to answer these questions through music, art, conversation, experimentation, movement, meditation, and more throughout the Beethoven Birthday Bash celebration and beyond, in different formats in real life and online.

Through SPIRIT, we will look back, look forward, and we will look up at the stars to find renewed meaning and beauty in this disjointed world.

The Beethoven Birthday Bash: SPIRIT 249 will kick off the Beethoven@250 Year which will run throughout 2020 and culminate with the global celebration for Beethoven’s 250th birthday on December 16th, 2020.

To celebrate Beethoven’s 249th birthday, this Beethoven Birthday Bash includes four exciting days of music, art, and merrymaking, and serves to kick-off the official world-wide Beethoven Year in celebration of the composers’s upcoming 250th birthday.

The Logan-square based Hairpin Arts Center will serve as the festivities’ primary venue from Friday December 13th through Sunday December 15th.

Preston Bradley Hall at the downtown Chicago Cultural Center will serve as the closing concert venue on Beethoven’s actual birthday, Monday December 16th, from 4-7pm. 

In addition to IBP’s main events are several educational outreach programs in Chicago Public Libraries and schools.

Buy your tickets here.

Ludwig van Beethoven (Bonn 1770 – Vienna 1827) is known for changing the history of music, helping to birth the Romantic movement by emancipating the artist from his usual position as a servant to court and church, becoming a challenger to the status quo, moving society forward, and bringing forth a new consciousness.

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